Years of Cleveland records exist only on microfiche
Cleveland City Council approved an ordinance last night that will allocate $130,000 in federal pandemic funding to the Cleveland Division of Fire to digitally scan troves of documents that currently exist only on microfiche.
Threat level: Fire chief Anthony Luke told council's safety committee last week that some 12 to 15 years' worth of city occupancy records and incident reports are stored exclusively on microfiche — and the machine that reads the film can no longer be repaired.
- "It's out of service; we can't get parts for it," he said. "To my knowledge, we're the only department in the city of Cleveland with records still on film."
Why it matters: The division routinely receives public records requests for the occupancy and permitting history of city buildings from developers and business owners looking to expand or modify properties.
- Digitalization will allow the records to be accessed remotely and provided much more quickly.
What they're saying: "This is a step into the 21st century," said public safety director Karrie Howard. "This is about efficiency and modernization of what the hard-working men and women of our division do."
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