Cascade County moving property records to the cloud

Cascade County is migrating to the cloud for property records.

A contract with Tyler Technologies is on Tuesday’s commission agenda with a one time $25,340 fee for transitioning from the county server to Tyler’s system. The recurring annual fee $17,500.

The upgrade is for the Clerk and Recorder’s Office and was included in last year’s budget, according to county officials.

Rina Fontana Moore, the county clerk and recorder said the county has digitized records from 2001 to the present that are currently housed on county servers.

There’s probably another million documents that predate 2001 that county staff will upload to the new system once they transition, Moore said, and the existing digitized documents will be moved to the cloud.

“We’re really excited because this is something we’ve been working on for years,” Moore said.

The property records include deeds, liens on properties, certificates of surveys, titles and more. Moore said real estate agents, appraisers and surveyors are the most regular users of their system, which they can access with an annual $150 subscription.

Currently, members of the public can search the index system which gives document numbers that they can then pull at the county offices for view. To print documents, the county currently charges 50 cents for the first page and 25 cents for each additional page if you don’t have an annual subscription.

Once they switch to the new system, the public could search the index online and if they choose to print it will be $2 per document, Moore said.

The county is still legally required to retain property documents permanently. Moore said they store the hard copies and have also put full sets of records on several sets of microfilm, which are stored in the courthouse annex building, the Disaster and Emergency Services building, the Cascade County Clerk and Recorder’s office and the Montana Department of Revenue.

“Everything’s dispersed,” Moore said, so the county will have vital records in the event of any fire, water damage or other issue with one of the storage facilities.