Online database of codified ordinances coming for RMF counties
By Brandy McAllister
Risk Management Legal Counsel
Association of Arkansas Counties Risk Management Services (AACRMS) is excited to announce the next phase in our codification project is going live this fall. Ark. Code Ann. § 14-14-903(d) provides that at five-year intervals county ordinances of a general and permanent nature should be compiled into a uniform code and published. The AACRMS offers as a free service to Risk Management Fund (RMF) member counties codification of county ordinances, as well as the periodic updates. To date, 44 member counties have been codified, with another four in the works.
Now that codification has been completed for the majority of our RMF member counties, we are ready to move forward with the next phase of this project —a searchable database of all the codified county ordinances. This database will be available to RMF member counties on the AAC website by the end of the year. RMF members will be able to log into the Member Benefits section of the website and search for ordinances in all the county codes. They also will have the option to limit their search to a single county. The code will be searchable both by table of contents, which will be organized by topic, and by keyword.
We anticipate this will be a much-used tool by RMF member counties. I often see emails from county officials on the various listservs asking other counties for copies of ordinances on specific topics. Our new online tool would allow member counties to search the database anytime for ordinances across the state.
As many county clerks around the state know, we have been working diligently over the past couple of months to update our data to include scanned images of the most recent ordinances passed since the initial codification. I would like to thank you all for your help in getting this information together. This has enabled us to complete one of the most exciting features of the online codification service, and very soon you will see the fruits of your efforts in action.
One of the greatest features of the online codification service is the link to a PDF of the original ordinance. In each code section, there is a legislative history that reflects the original ordinance, as well as subsequent amendments and repealers that apply to the code section. Members will be able to look at the legislative history of each code section, and each ordinance referenced will be a hyperlink. When you click on this link it will open a web page that is a PDF scanned image of the original passed ordinance.
I have spoken to some of our counties about the new online codification service over the past few months, and everyone has expressed excitement about the launch. We will send out more information in the months to come as we work to get the first 44 counties on the website.