Montevallo adopts Internet document database

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Over the past 123 years, Montevallo officials have compiled an extensive amount of city documents spanning several different formats.

On June 15, the Montevallo City Council passed a motion to securely preserve those records forever.

The council agreed to become the fourth Shelby County municipality to install the VendorVault Document Management System, which was developed by the Birmingham-based TriNovus financial software company.

Pelham, Wilton and Columbiana previously adopted the VendorVault system.

Through the VendorVault program, Montevallo will be able to archive all of its city council minutes, agendas, ordinances, resolutions, deeds, leases, vehicle titles and contracts on an Internet database.

Although the city began keeping its records in an electronic format many years ago, the city still has a vault filled with paper records stretching back to 1887.

“There had been some major concerns about what would happen to all the records in our vault in the event of a disaster,” said Montevallo City Clerk Herman Lehman. “We wanted to find a way to back up all the paper records in our vault.”

Montevallo has already backed up the records currently stored in an electronic format, but will gradually move some of its electronic records to the VendorVault system to allow the public to more easily access them, Lehman said.

The city will likely put all of its past City Council minutes and current contracts on the VendorVault system first before moving on to other records.

“The minutes are very important. It’s important that we be able to look back and see when the city passed something,” Lehman said. “Getting those in the VendorVault system is going to be critical.”

Lehman said the VendorVault system seemed to be a “good fit” for the city, and said the program would likely make Montevallo City Hall more efficient.

“We are an old city. We have got some fairly old records in our vault,” Lehman said. “I think this system is going to be very helpful to all of us.

“I think we will get into it and see there are more benefits to the system than we even realize,” Lehman added.