EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- As Lane County struggles to keep dozens of services a float with budget cuts coming in July 2012, one of the most critical services in the county, the Assessor's Office is making huge strides to improve public access by putting property line records online.
The Lane County Assessor's Office is right in the middle of a project to put 160,000 paper parcel records, or property line records, in an online digital database.
It's a huge deal for anyone who owns property in the area, as those documents are the only complete legal record of who owns what land across all of Lane County and where the boundaries are.
About 20 people have been working on this project (coupled with their normal daily duties) since January 2012.
As part of the project, Assessor's Office staff have been scanning and inspecting every single paper based property line record in the county. Most of the paper records are from the 1960. Some even have ink damage, water damage or other problems.
County staff is making sure every single record is scanned properly and is legible in a computer file.
With property records going online, anyone will soon be able to access county property logs on the internet at anytime.
“It's one last major final step towards creating a virtual Assessor's Office,” says Anette Spickard, Lane County's Assessor.
Today, if you want to look up a property line record in Lane County, you have to go to the Office in person. Right now, the office is only open 5 hours a day.
Come July, new budget cuts will further reduce the hours for people are able to access paper property records from five to likely three hours a day. The office will also cut 11 full time employees. 7 of those employees are coming through attrition, 4 will receive layoff notices.
Amidst all of the cuts, Assessor Spickard says its important that her office works efficiently and continues to help speed the process of economic development.
“(It will help) Research and for use in development of real estate, to help the title companies, to help surveyors,” says Anette Spickard, Lane County's Assessor.
“They don't have to make a trip to downtown Eugene, they don't have to pay to park they don't have to find out office and come in during our limited hours to buy a piece of paper,” says Spickard.
So far, county staff has scanned more than 90,000 property records. The database should be done and ready for the public to search via the web on July 1st, 2012.
As for who is paying for the project, Lane County got a $50,000 grant from the Oregon Lottery to do the work.