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Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS)


Reference Number: MTAS-685
Reviewed Date: 11/08/2022




Description of Record

Retention Period

Legal Authority/Rationale

E-1. Aerial Photographs. Aerial photographs of flyovers. Negatives may be available at the state Department of Transportation’s photographic lab.

Permanent Record.

Keep for operational purposes through reappraisal appeals process and greenbelt recertification appeal period. This record series has high historical and archival value and should be preserved for those reasons.

E-2. Bridge and Street Project Files, Federal, State and Local. Project files, including contracts and invoices.

Retain 7 years after completion of project.

Based on statute of limitations for legal actions for breach of contract plus 1 year. T.C.A. § 28-3-109.

E-3. Building Plans. Blueprints and specifications for all municipal building including school buildings.

Retain for life of the building (plus additional time if litigation arise from building’s early demise). Consider donating to archive.

Necessary for maintenance and operation of physical plant.

E-4. City Street List. Record of all streets under control of the city.

Permanent Record

Necessary for street regulation and maintenance and to protect street department from allegations of working on private property.

E-5. Complaints. Citizen service request for maintenance and repair issues.

Retain 5 years.

Could constitute notice of unsafe condition.

E-6. Deeds, Easements, Highway Rights-of-way, etc. Instruments of conveyance of interests in real property. Show signature of property owner, date, width of easement, and name of road.

Permanent record in city recorder’s office.

Recorded copy is necessary to preserve city property rights, City should retain its own copy as record of its property rights.

E-7. Maps and Map Books. City and civil district maps as well as single parcel maps (not part of subdivision).

Permanent Record.

Keep for historical purposes.

E-8. Ownership maps and index, Rural and Urban. These maps reflect the status of real property as of January 1 of each year.

Retain only current and one previous generation of ownership maps and indexes. Older generations of photographs may be removed from the office but if removed, should be transferred to an archive or library.

Useful in office for tracking property changes and as evidence in challenges to tax sales. This record series has a high historical and archival value and should be preserved for those reasons.

E-9. Plats, Plat Books, Surveyors’ Books and Indexes. Drawings of subdivisions, cemeteries, utilities, city lots and street improvements showing name of subject, date drawn, boundaries, scale used, location, name of engineer making survey, name of draftsman, and register’s certificate of registration.

Permanent Record.

Necessary for maintenance and operation of city infrastructure.

Eligible for recordation.

T.C.A. § 13-3-402

E-10. Sign Inventory. List of all traffic signs and traffic signals in the city.

Retain a current copy at all times.

Necessary to track inventory and maintenance of signs.

E-11. Underground Utilities, Location of. Record of location of all underground utilities maintained by the city.

Permanent Record.

Necessary for maintenance and operation of city infrastructure.

NOTE: Under T.C.A. § 65-31-105, the city must record location of utilities with county, listing where the facilities are located and the name, title, address and telephone number of the operator’s representative. The county keeps this record permanently.

E-12. Work Orders. For repair and maintenance of streets, traffic signs, traffic signals, and utilities.

Retain 5 years.

Evidence in lawsuit.