Archived documents, mostly blueprints, building and site plans, were not readily available as they were kept in an off-site storage facility which that was close to capacity. The storage facility was an old stockade and its condition exposed the plans to water leaks, heat and cold, as well as rodents and other vermin. The condition of the stored documents was such that they were being compromised by mold, waste matter and rubber bands securing the rolls of architectural drawings had melted into the paper. The condition and location of the documents deterred staff from consulting approved plans except in cases of dire need. It became obvious that something must be done to protect the department’s records and to provide staff members with easy and safe access to the plans they needed to effectively carry out their responsibilities.
"The storage facility was an old stockade and its condition exposed the plans to water leaks, heat and cold, as well as rodents and other vermin."
The Police Department, Board of Elections and Clerk of Commission already utilized Laserfiche with great success so the Building Department felt the same solution would address there needs. However, because of the condition of the records and the fact that MCCi had both the technical expertise and the equipment to handle the fragile documents they decided to outsource the scanning of those records to their scanning bureau. As an added bonus having a database of scanned documents assured that the staff of the Building Inspection Department would have immediate ‘buy in’ once Laserfiche was installed in their department – as all the past records would be there – ready for the finding. Access to these documents was also expanded to the Athens-Clarke County Planning Department and to the Athens-Clarke County Public Works Department. Public records requests were immediately simplified and conducted in a fraction of the time it used to take to drive to the stockade and search the shelves.
Today, architectural plans and building permits are searchable in Laserfiche by index fields utilizing several fields including address, project name, and building permit number. Athens-Clarke County Building Inspection Department has plans to continue and expand upon the Laserfiche system with the goal of providing more efficient and effective plans review and inspection.