Pennsylvania County to Provide All Records Online

December 21, 2010

Lackawanna County in Pennsylvania will soon provide all of its land records online.

The county’s commissioners voted unanimously to approve a contract with InfoQuick Solutions, which will digitize all of the county’s records dating back to 1878. The $7,982 monthly contract terminates at the end of 2016.

With the county's current system, supplied by Optical Storage Solutions Inc., the public can search and access records since 1976 at no charge. However, there is a 10-cents-per-minute fee to do an advanced search for older records.

With the new system, it's believed there will be a fee to print out the documents and the county will be charging a PIN certification fee when recording documents to offset the expense.

As part of the contract, InfoQuick will have to digitize and computerize 171 handwritten index books for the pre-1976 records. They are all that remain of more than 7,000 books of paper records the county is converting to electronic format.

Evie Rafalko McNulty, the recorder of deeds, said the integrated system will provide a smoother interface with other county agencies, such as the assessor's office, the tax claim bureau and the planning department. Instead of multiple offices keyboarding the same information, it will only have to be entered once.

As part of the contract, the service vendor will maintain a remote backup "hot site" that will allow the recorder's office to restore online access to land records in a matter of minutes in the event of a system failure at her office, according to Rafalko McNulty. The hot site would also allow the recorder's office to set up in a temporary remote location and continue to accept recordings in an emergency as well.

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