BATH TOWNSHIP — The Bath Township Records Commission held a public meeting on Sept. 19 to discuss the disposal of obsolete township records.
The commission, which includes Township Board of Trustees Chairman Steve Ross and Township Fiscal Officer Elaine Brown, meets at least once annually to review applications for the one-time disposal of obsolete records submitted by township offices. Ross explained during the meeting that the township records commission may dispose of records pursuant to the procedure outlined in section 149.381 of the Ohio Revised Code.
“Our records commission must meet in an open meeting, as required by Section 121.22 of the Ohio Revised Code and identify what obsolete records are being disposed of at that time,” Ross said. “All these records are paper documents that were stored in the township’s safe room.”
The commission approved the disposal of approximately 58 records that covered a span of 124 years. Legal records included 29 journals from the Justice of the Peace Civil Court from January 1832 through October 1956, five journals covering proceedings from the Justice of the Peace Court from January 1833 through March 1903 and 14 records from the Justice of the Peace Criminal Court from June 1850 through December 1956. One cash book from the Justice of the Peace Court that covered transactions from December 1933 through December 1934 was among the legal records as well.
Various records of financial value were also among the list of obsolete records, including two documents that gave an accounting of Bath Township School District funds from September 1903 through June 1915, one record of the Bath Township clerk’s account of funds from March 1905 through January 1914, and one record of the clerk and treasurer’s balance sheets from March 1869 through September 1899.
Ross pointed out that one ditch journal covered activities from August 1901 through July 1914, and one record of chattel mortgages ranged from January 1881 through June 1896. Two records of historical value consisted of one Bath Township poor records account book from March 1897 through February 1898 and a compendium of the sixth census in 1840.
According to Brown, the One-Time Disposal of Obsolete Records Form RC-1, which includes a list of those records that have exceed their retention period, will be sent to the Local Government Records Program (LGRP) at the Ohio History Connection — State Archives of Ohio in Columbus.
The LGRP will review the RC-1 and forward it to the Auditor of State’s Records Officer. Once all signatures have been affixed to it, the form will be returned to Bath Township’s Record Commission.
“I believe we will then be able to send them to the Wright State University Archives,” Brown said.
According to the Ohio History Connection website, the township records commission first begins the records management process by completing a records inventory. The commission then determines a retention period for the records. Once that is established, the commission prepares retention schedules and disposal lists forms and submits schedules of applications to the state archives. When any records are stored beyond a required retention period, the commission prepares a certificate of records disposal and disposes the records in accordance with approved schedules or applications.
Brown said a public notice announcing the next meeting of the Bath Township Records Commission will be published in this newspaper prior to the date of the meeting.
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.