June 24, 2013

Part-time worker to keep Miami Registrar Office open

Miami Co. vital records office closed for understaffing.

By Carson Gerber For the Pharos-Tribune

---- — PERU – The Miami County Health Department can keep its birth and death certificate office open all year after the county council approved additional funding to hire a part-time employee.

The county registrar office was closed three days this year because of understaffing, barring residents access to birth and death certificates. The office was closed five days in December.

“That’s a real inconvenience to the public,” said Mark Waite, who serves on the Miami County Health Board. “People need access to their birth and death records … We need to get someone in there to keep that office open.”

A closed office means cremations could be delayed since state law requires a death certificate before a body can be cremated.

County Health Officer Rafik Farag said last year that only one person is trained to issue certificates. When that employee is gone, no one can fill in.

The county council approved $3,000 for the health department to hire a part-time, temporary employee to man the office when the trained employee is gone.

Waite said the funding will allow a part-time employee to work nearly 40 days this year.

He said the health department has appropriated additional money in next year’s budget to permanently hire a part-time employee to fill in at the registrar office.