The Village of Mineola is getting out of the business of birth and death certificates and will begin shipping records of anyone who was born or died in the village to the Town of North Hempstead.
The move will take 12 to 18 months, save Mineola hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run and free up two employees to do more resident-focused work, said village Clerk Joseph Scalero. The move also means that, eventually, anyone who needs those records will have to visit Town Hall in Manhasset.
“This is not going to happen tomorrow and it’s not going to happen next month,” said Mineola Deputy Mayor Paul Pereira. “We will phase this in, so, for the foreseeable future, you’d still come here.”
Once North Hempstead obtains Mineola's records, Rockville Centre will be the only village on Long Island with a hospital within its boundaries — Mercy Medical Center on North Village Avenue — that maintains vital records.
As of July 1, 2017, Mineola's population was 19,387, according to Census data. Mineola has kept birth and death records of every resident, as well as nonresidents who were born or died in the village, since 1906. Over the years, four to six employees in the clerk's office have handled the recordkeeping, Scalero said, but the task now falls to just two workers.
Mineola processes about 6,000 birth and death records a year, Scalero said. As the volume of work increases, "because anybody that’s born in the hospital [NYU Winthrop Hospital] or dies in the hospital" or elsewhere in the village has their records housed at Mineola Village Hall, he said, the staffing has remained unchanged, which results in an increased workload.
The village charges $10 per record and typically generates $120,000 in revenue a year from the service. The village stands to lose $20,000 this year, Scalero said, and that amount would grow if the village continues offering the service.
North Hempstead already maintains the vital records for 19 other villages, said Clerk Wayne Wink. He added that the town has budgeted for additional staff in the clerk's office to help process Mineola's records.
Supervisor Judi Bosworth said employees in Wink's office "will serve the residents of Mineola efficiently, as they do the other villages that count on us for their vital statistics registrations."
The village and town signed an agreement at a town council meeting Thursday night to give North Hempstead custody of the records. The agreement will detail how the records would be moved from Village Hall in Mineola to North Hempstead Town Hall in Manhasset.
"My office will arrange for picking them [records] up on a routine basis and have them delivered here so they can be put into our records systems, stored and digitized," Wink said, adding that the change will make North Hempstead one of the state's largest registrars. "We're going to do it in waves and, that way, we can make sure everything is imported properly."
Rockville Centre spokeswoman Julie Scully said officials have no plans to cease the village's registrar services.
Because of incorrect information from a source, an earlier version of this story did not indicate that the 6,000 records processed annually by workers in the Mineola village clerks office include birth certificates and death certificates.
LIFE & DEATH
$10 | Price per copy for a birth or death certificate
12-18 | Months it will take to transfer the records from Mineola to North Hempstead
6,000 | Birth and death certificates Mineola processes annually
6,300 | Birth certificates North Hempstead Town handles annually
2,400 | Death certificates North Hempstead Town handles annually
$20,000 | Amount Mineola will lose this fiscal year by maintaining vital records