PALMER – Following a staff recommendation by the city’s secretary, Alicia Baran, the Palmer City Council unanimously approved Cave Consulting to assist with updating the municipality’s record retention system.

Presently, the city’s state required document record retention program is a manual system with paper records maintained and submitted to the state by the city secretary or other city staff. 

Offering to assist the city with assuring compliance with state regulations for maintaining, archiving and storage of city documents, Todd Cave proposed an electronic management system to staff and council members.

Cave’s system would identify and record the location of documents or groups of documents maintained by the city and provide the information to be made available on a website.

“The documents would stay at City Hall, we would provide the location of the document by office, file cabinet or storage for improved access information,” he said. “This is especially valuable for frequently accessed documents or documents related to a subject that would be requested through a public information request. In this case, documents may be filed in multiple areas.”

The system would maintain the age of each document and work with the city secretary to ensure proper archival or destruction as required by state regulations. The system also would document destroyed documents as to the when, where, how and who is authorized for their destruction.

The company also would work with the city to scan and electronically store those documents, which Baran said was important for items the city needs or wishes to maintain permanently.

“This protects us in the event of a fire or other disaster to City Hall,” Baran said.   

Cities are required to file certain documents and records with the Texas State Library and, previously the city has provided a list of documents in a printed list form. Cave’s electronic system would provide the state a preferred electronic listing.

Caves’ offer to the city was to provide the company’s service for no expense for the first year in exchange for the city’s input and assistance with the development of its new software.

“We will be the test case for them,” Baran said, saying the company has offers that would extend the use of the service for two years.

With little discussion, council members unanimously approved a no-smoking ordinance for city offices, buildings and vehicles. The newly enacted ordinance prohibits the use of any tobacco product by a city employee or a visitor inside a city building, office or vehicle.

The council unanimously approved a final plat for Palmer Hill Estates, that was first presented last month by developer Rick Justiss. The city and Justiss agreed to provisions relating to park and road requirements, with unanimous council approval given to the plan as presented.

Council members also unanimously approved an ordinance to increase the master fee schedule for commercial certificates of occupancy from $50 to $100.

City Administrator Doug Young recommended adoption of an ordinance to amend the subdivision code referring to street pavement design.

“This is a housekeeping ordinance to make street paving requirements clear and in agreement with the Master Engineering Design Manual,” he said, saying streets in new subdivisions must be paved with hot asphalt or concrete.

“Previously, chip and seal was an accepted method for streets. With this ordinance they must comply with approved materials,” Young said.