May 16—PARIS — The Oxford County Commission agreed to spend up to $26,000 for preservation and digitization of road records stored in the registry vault.
The plan was presented to the commissioners by Register of Deeds Cherri Crockett.
The road records in the seven books date back to 1805 — before Maine was a state — and cover more than 3,000 pages. Funds for the preservation and digitization is included in the county commissioner preservation account.
Due to their condition, the process would include preserving the historic records and having them available for the public to search from the Registry of Deeds website.
The restoration project has been an ongoing process. Crockett said her department recently received 46 books back from Kofile, a company based in Dallas that specializes in governmental records management protection and preservation. Kofile will handle the next batch of seven books.
According to Crockett, each page would be deacidfied, cleaned, encapsulated in mylar, placed in new bindings and digitized to film for upload to the public site.
In addition to being available online in digital format, the records will also be available on microfilm.
To make room for the bound records, Crockett proposed and the commissioners agreed to dispose of the copied index and record books. Crockett told the board that keeping copies is not constitutionally required by the state.
In other business, Sheriff Christopher Wainwright presented a letter from U.S. Sen. Susan Collins stating she has requested $174,000 be included in the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill for a scanner and security cameras for the Oxford County Jail. She has also asked that $2.89 million be set aside in the agricultural appropriations bill for a public safety building in Brownfield at the southern end of the county.
Collins is vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Commissioners approved a $4.7 million bid to upgrade the communications system for the Oxford County Regional Communication Center and $796,250 for a road project in Upton. Steve Swasey Excavation of Andover was the low bidder.
The board agreed to change Deputy Zachary Toothaker's status from part time to full time, and Matthew Steinort was hired as a full time deputy.
County Treasurer Beth Calhoun reported that the county's finances are in excellent shape.
The Oxford County Regional Airport in Oxford will host a fly-in and car show July 8.
The board renewed a liquor license for Cupsuptic Lake Park and Campground off Route 16 in Adamstown Township.