Darren Doyle, story and photos:
County Clerk Kevin Alexander has made several changes and improvements to the way the office handles their business, the latest coming in the form of a $35,000 state-of-the-art storage/shelving system that was all state funded thanks to a grant Alexander was able to receive through the Kentucky Department of Library and Archives.
"We have huge space limitations here," he said. "Right now, we don't really have the option of creating more space so we have to utilize what we have. This system is a huge step in the right direction and it was all funded through a generous grant."
The office has somewhere around 850 mortgage, deed, and other record books, to which the public must have access. Many are simply kept in storage because there's never been a really good place to store them. The old shelving system took up lots of room but only allowed access to a small number of books.
"When I came into office in 2015, I found that there had been no grant activity from the clerk's office in over 16 years," said Alexander. "The state needed some books on microfilm and we needed some improvements here, so we were able to work together and secure the grant."
Calling it a shelving system is not really accurate. It's more like a rolling, safe/shelving/storage/track system unit. Whatever you call it, it's impressive.
It's basically seven enormous cabinets that roll on a track system. You can grab the cabinets and simply push (although they're heavy) or you can crank the handle on the outside that resembles the wheel on a safe. The crank can easily be spun with one hand, which moves the cabinets back-and-forth, allowing the user to walk in between the cabinets.
Alexander was quick to mention that he doesn't take all the credit for the grant and the new system.
"This was part of the "Local Records Project," funded by grant, and was completed with the help of Judge Executive Wil Cannon, the KDLA, Regional Administrator Pam Howarah, Tri-State Systems, and Oakes Contracting from Nashville, TN."
He also said that plans for more improvements are in the works, including new flooring, more user-friendly work spaces for those seeking records, and seating.
"We can't do all this at once, but we want the best office we can run for Edmonson County," he said.