Niles Township reconsiders document scanning project, rescinds special meeting vote

Published 10:55 am Tuesday, August 3, 2021

NILES TOWNSHIP — Monday evening, the Niles Township Board of Trustees reversed action it took last week on a document scanning project.

Last Thursday, the board hosted a special meeting, during which board members approved a large-scale document scanning project, which would convert the township’s paper files to digital, with Graphic Sciences. The project, which was estimated to cost $8,253, would scan and create digital copies of an estimated 31,005 images, 5,200 drawings and 7,241 files.

According to Lisa Herter, of the township building department, the document scanning project would help clear out years-old paper copies and make it easier to find important documents when staff or the public wishes to view them.

“What we are really trying to look at is cleaning up the basement,” she said during Thursday’s meeting. “It’s horrible down there. Every time we get a FIOA request, every time somebody wants to look at plans — like how someone wanted to look at the plans for the old Dairy Queen the other day — there’s no way we can find those plans.”

“It can take hours upon hours to go down there to do stuff,” added Denise Kasprzak, zoning administrator.

Though board members approved the Graphic Sciences proposal during Thursday’s special meeting, they changed direction by Monday. During the regular meeting, the board rescinded Thursday’s vote and moved to collect additional proposals from other companies.

Trustee Herschel Hoese said he felt Thursday’s vote was rushed and that Graphic Sciences’ proposal did not include all the documents board members and township employees believed it did.

Hoese said he wants to include file cabinets in the upstairs of the township building in addition to the files in the building’s basement.

“We’ve waited 30 years to do this, so I don’t think another few weeks are going to make a difference,” he said. “It’s best that we get done what we thought would get done and bring it back to the board with two or three bids.”

The motion was approved in a unanimous vote.

In other business:

  • The board approved a bid of $400 from Michiana Tree Service to remove a dead tree from the property of the Niles Township Fire Station Two, located on Third Street.
  • The board approved a signal booster to be installed at Station Two, which would allow firefighters to better receive dispatch calls, as firefighters reported signal issues at the firehouse. The total cost of the project is $1,869.
  • Also for the fire department, the board approved replacement drive tries for Ladder 1440. The cost of four replacement tires is $2,073.
  • Board member Daniel Pulaski reported the Southeast Berrien County Landfill, 1540 Mayflower Road, Niles, will be open from 8 a.m. to noon the first Saturday of each month.