Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds (ROD) Israel Ramón announced major reforms for 2020 on January 6, which include changing providers for credit card services, updating record storage and creating personnel efficiencies.

These reforms are expected to save $150,000 annually. ROD Israel Ramón worked with the Milwaukee County Information Management Service Division to identify areas of waste, redundancy and duplication to realize cost savings without compromising office operations.

“The Register of Deeds Office has taken our values of being responsible fiscal stewards to heart and enacted many reforms to do better by Milwaukee County taxpayers,” said Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. “These reforms show the reignited strength in the ROD Office and we look forward to other new initiatives that will invest in Milwaukee County in the years to come.”

In 2020, ROD will eliminate waste and efficiencies in its record storage systems and management. Beginning in January, ROD will eliminate the permanent underground vault storage of microfilmed land records. This storage is largely obsolete, duplicative and does not result in safer land records data storage. Transitioning to exclusively digital storage will realize cost savings of more than $20,000 per year.

“Our role is to not only listen but to be bold and take action, and it was high time to end our reliance of an outdated system by moving away from outdated storage and banking systems,” said Milwaukee County Register of Deeds (ROD) Israel Ramón. “By implementing reforms and eliminating waste we will save taxpayers $150,000 annually and bring our office into the new decade with modern, reliable measures that will improve our operations for our residents.”

Beginning in June, the permanent hosting of Milwaukee County’s real estate land records data will move from Fidlar Technologies to the County’s current hosting service provider, OneNeck. After an initial one-time setup cost of $25,000 the ROD office will pay $18,000 to Milwaukee County annually for permanent hosting services with OneNeck. This change will result in cost savings of $55,000 in 2020 and savings of at least $80,000 every year thereafter.

Early this year, the ROD will transition its credit card service from U.S. Bank to LexisNexis VitalChek Network Inc. While residents will incur a transaction fee from VitalChek, this transition will realize cost savings of $10,000 annually for the office. The office will realize more than $30,000 in additional savings by eliminating one vital records position, reforming overtime needs and exploring additional personnel reductions.

Milwaukee County Register of Deeds (ROD) Israel Ramón pledged to reform office operations since 2019 when he assumed the role. Running a cost effective and efficient ROD Office while maintaining smooth operations and meeting the statutory recording obligations are a top priority for ROD Ramón and his staff.