Eighteen months and 13,000 lines of data-input later and Yellow Medicine County Museum Director Brian Schulz's crusade to digitize all county birth records from 1870 to 1908 is complete.
Made possible by a $18,000 Minnesota Historical Society grant that funded Schulz's data entry as well as the mileage for two volunteer proofreaders, Jane Remiger and Paulette Grieger of Wood Lake, the effort will allow individuals to access the birth records from the internet via a link on the Yellow Medicine County's home webpage: http://www.co.ym.mn.gov.
During Tuesday's regularly scheduled YMC Board meeting, Schulz informed commissioners of the accomplishment in tandem with the museum's annual update.
Joined by YMC Historical Society Member and Chairman, LuAnne Kling and the aforementioned Remiger, respectively, the trio were effusive about the project and other developments over the past year that also included a 20' x 40' storage building addition, a new military exhibit in the old storage space, a remodeled office and significantly revamped museum interior and exterior.
"It's just so fresh and clean," said Remiger. "There is a whole different feeling."
The three said that the developments have resulted in a concomitant increase in museum attendance and membership, and that work by Schulz, maintenance man Doug Mull and the Mike Martin run Sentence to Serve program, which is a community work program involving minor offenders, deserved credit for the improvements.
In order to keep the momentum, the museum representatives would ask the county for an additional appropriation of $15,000 over the existing approximately $25,000 that has been allocated to the museum in recent years. According to Remiger, it is the first time that the museum has sought an additional appropriation since 2008. She said that funds would allow for incremental increases to Schulz present salary as well as allow the museum to keep on Mull, whose wages this past year were funded through the state's Experience Works program.
Commissioners said they would consider the request at budget time. "I think you're doing an excellent job... over and above," commissioner Gary Johnson told the museum represntatives.
In other news, the county promoted Family Service Administrative Secretary Ashley Soine to the position of Finance Administration/ Human Resources Deputy, which was recently vacated by Tegan Laleman. Soine will be on Grade 14, Step 1 of the Springsted pay scale with an hourly salary of $15.85 or an annual salary of $30,909.10.