BELTON — Members of the Bell County Commissioners Court on Monday voted unanimously to approve a $500,000 contract with ACS Enterprise Solutions. The one-year contract will allow the county clerk’s office to begin implementing phase two of the Records Management and Preservation Plan.

The plan calls for county employees and outside contractors to image, scan and index all of the property records in the county.

“There are 4 million documents,” County Clerk Shelley Coston said. “The records are from 1987 to 1850.”

Phase one of the program was undertaken last year when the clerk’s office digitized property records from 2006 to 1987. After 2006, the clerk’s office ceased creating paper records, and instead began generating and retaining all documents in a digital-only format, Coston said.

The total cost of the five-year project is estimated to be about $2.5 million, with the funds being drawn neither from the clerk’s annual budget nor the county’s general fund.

The money will come from a dedicated account built from a portion of document filing fees, Coston said.

Other business

The commissioners also approved the annual memoranda of understanding with area school districts regarding the operation and administration of the Bell County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program.

“Youth who are detained at the Bell County Juvenile Detention Center use residential education services, which are provided by Killeen Independent School District,” County Judge Jon Burrows said. “If they are in the Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program, they used to take classes from a local district like Belton or Temple ISD, but now those students are served by Southwest Key.”

Southwest Key Programs is a national nonprofit organization that operates the Bell County Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program. The organization operates six alternative schools throughout Texas and serves adolescents ranging from the ages of 10 to 17 who have been expelled from their local school districts, according to the organization’s website.

In addition to operating Bell County’s Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program, Southwest Key operates similar programs in Bexar, Cameron, Hidalgo, Nueces and Travis counties.

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