PERTH - There’s no place more secure than a former police station.
And now that the Perth Police Service will be winding down its operations this April, to make room for the OPP, it will no longer need its old offices at 1881 Rogers Rd.
So that’s where the Town of Perth has stepped in to help their friends in Mississippi Mills with its dilemma about where to store historic documents when the land registry office closes in Almonte.
“It’s a very secure location,” joked Perth Mayor John Fenik, following the Lanark County council meeting in Perth on Wednesday, Feb. 20. “In any way we can help, we will.”
While the boxes of old documents likely won’t need to be kept under lock and key in the jail cells in the facility, there are climate controlled rooms in the facility, which will, starting in April, double as a business incubation centre where “we have the capacity to store files,” said Fenik.
While both towns “have not heard anything, but we are standing by,” said Fenik, Mississippi Mills Mayor John Levi said that he is adamant that the documents stay somewhere in Lanark County.
“They say they pack them up and put them away but people get sick of kicking over boxes,” said Levi. “It’s nice to put it all on computers but it is nice to have the original documents.”
Levi is also awaiting word from the province about the future of the documents, not wanting them to be whisked away in the night.
“Perth has stepped forward to help… and we want to keep them” in Lanark County, said Levi.
Levi said he was also concerned that old papers from rural Ontario might not be front-of-mind for provincial bureaucrats in Toronto right now.
“They’re worried about getting a new premier,” said Levi of the change in government. “We want to get a commitment to a plan. (It is) your history. You can’t relocate it. I’m sorry to see the registry office closed.”
He was also concerned about historic documents being sent to centralized locations around the province since one fire could wipe out hundreds of years of documents for an entire region in a single incident.