Pella Chronicle

January 15, 2014

Births remain steady in 2013

The Pella Chronicle

---- — As of the morning of Dec. 30, 2013, there had been 452 births recorded in Marion County. Final numbers on births are not expected for another 2-3 weeks, and there were 459 births in the county in 2012 and 438 in 2011.

Marriages in Marion County in 2013, as of the same time stated above, totaled 192, down from 220 in 2012, but ahead of the 186 in 2011. The marriage license form changed after the Varnum decision, which nullified the Defense of Marriage Act and allowed same-sex weddings. (Iowa Code still defines marriage as one man and one woman, as the Legislature has not acted to alter the verbiage in law books.) Forms still read, “Party A” and “Party B”.

Deaths in Marion County, as of the morning of Dec. 30, totaled 290 for 2013. That matches the total from 2011 and is down from 318 in 2012.

Fee Increases

Marion County Recorder Karen Schwanebeck added that fees for birth, marriage and death certificates will increase in the new year. Certified copies of one of these forms will be $20, up from $15. The portion of that remitted to Marion County will remain at $4.

The increase was done through administrative rule within the Iowa Department of Public Health. Additional revenue raised through the increase will pay for a new, statewide computer system, set to launch on April 1.

The new system, according to Schwanebeck, will allow anyone, born in Iowa from 1954 forward, to request and receive a certified copy of his or her birth certificate in the county of current residence. Currently, if one would like a copy of his or her certified birth certificate, the request must be made, and the copy collected, in one’s birth county.

Records will remain open to the public inside the Recorder’s Office. One can research records dating back to 1880.

After April 1, County copies of State records will not be available. All of these records will be on a State website, but online research will continue in the Recorder’s Office. Any records that predate 1954 will be issued from the Recorder’s Office, if the record is in the office’s possession. The $20 fee will still be collected.

Revenues tothe County are up

Registrations for boats, ATVs and snowmobiles are renewed every three years through the Recorder’s Office, and as of Dec. 30, 2013, revenue to Marion County from them totals $7,075, compared to $4,745 in 2010. The 2013 total does not include the last month of the year.

Schwanebeck said that part of the reason is that, when the state switched to a new system for these records, most “big box” stores did not purchase it. Most stores no longer renew these registrations. Hunting and fishing licenses are still issued at stores as well as the Recorder’s Office. Those fees are included in the totals.

The County receives more revenue from titles and liens than registrations, but all of the revenue to the County does add up, Schwanebeck said.

Passports issued by the Recorder’s Office each year typically bring in $20,000 annually. Schwanebeck said that total has remained steady in 2013.