Town Records Program

The Sullivan Records Retention Program has been created to insure compliance with the laws and regulations of the State of New Hampshire regarding records created by the various departments of the Sullivan Town Government.

Procedure. At the end of each fiscal year (December 31), the working files of each department and committee will be closed and the series identified. All records will be transferred to a separate file and labeled by series title. Records such as invoices and bank statements will be prepared for the annual audit, which is usually conducted in February or March. Upon successful completion of the audit, the files will be transferred the separate file. Each file folder will be clearly labeled by series and year. Records that are to be destroyed will be removed upon completion of the records schedules listed below. Permanent records will be transferred to the archives when they are no longer needed for the day-to- day operation of the department or committee.

Responsibility. The Sullivan Town Clerk will have overall responsibility for the records of the town (RSA 41:58). Individual department heads and committee chairs are responsible for the records in their care and for following the records schedule. The town archives is responsible for maintaining the permanent records of the town in accordance with best archival practice.

Series. Series groups will be reviewed at least once every two years to insure compliance with the New Hampshire Municipal Records Board rules (RSA 33-A:3-a).

Records Keeping. Each department and committee will maintain a record of when their series have been destroyed or transferred to the archives. The form should indicate as a minimum the date of destruction or transfer, the person who authorized the action, and the name of the series that was moved or destroyed. A sample form is located at the end of this document. Such records are permanent and will be transferred to the archives when no long needed for day-to-day operations (RSA 33-A:3-a CXV).

Holds. Upon being informed (either formally or informally) that a legal action involving these records is possible, the department head or committee chair will place a hold on the folder or folders involved. This hold will stop any scheduled destruction until the matter is resolved. Likewise, the failure to pass the annual audit will cause a hold to be placed on the records until the matter is resolved.

Right to Know. All of the records generated or created by the departments and committees are subject to the provisions of RSA 91-A:4 and 91-A:5 which governs the public’s right to examine all public documents and to request copies. There are some exceptions to the right to know law and the cited references should be consulted if you have questions.

Digital Records. Department heads and committee chairs are authorized to keep records in a digital format (RSA 33-A:5-a). Deletion of the records will take place according to the records schedule. Digital records are also subject to legal and audit holds and must be made available to the public in accordance with RSA 91:A:4 and 91:A:5. Electronic records should be maintained in a standard filing system similar to the paper series. Records that are to be kept permanently and those that must be kept for 10 or more years must be in an eye readable format which the state currently defines as a paper printout or microform copy (RSA 33-A:5-a).

Recorded Minutes. Department heads and committee chairs may record their meetings on any media. However, the recording must be transcribed into an eye readable format which the state currently defines as paper or microform. Only the transcription may be presented for approval at the board or department meeting. Once approval is made, the recorded minutes may be destroyed or recorded over (RSA 33-A:3-a-LXXX).

Destruction. Records scheduled for destruction may be destroyed by any method available in keeping with the confidentiality of the record. The recommended method is by shredding.

Click on a town department below to read about documents for that department.

Board of Selectmen/Town Offices
Budget Committee
Conservation Commission
Fire & Rescue Department/Emergency Management/Forest Fire Service
Highway Department
Overseer of Public Welfare
Planning Board
Police Department
Public Health Department
Public Library
Recreation Committee
Supervisors of the Checklist
Tax Collector
Town Clerk
Town Treasurer
Trustees of the Cemeteries
Trustees of Trust Funds
Zoning Board of Adjustment

Board of Selectmen/Town Offices

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Selectmen/Town Office records consist of the following series:

  1. Abatement records.
  2. Appointments.
  3. Audit documents.
  4. Bids and contracts.
  5. Bonds and continuation certificates.
  6. Capital projects and fixed assets
  7. Correspondence.
  8. Current use applications and documents.
  9. Deed grantee or grantor listing from the Cheshire County Registry or copies of deeds.
  10. Dredge and fill permits.
  11. Easements awarded to the town.
  12. Federal tax forms.
  13. Grants—supporting document.
  14. Grievances.
  15. Insurance policies.
  16. Intent to cut trees or brush.
  17. Intergovernmental agreements.
  18. Land use change documents.
  19. Legal cases.
  20. Licenses issued by the town except for dog, marriage (see Town Clerk) and health (see Public Health Department).
  21. Liens released and uncollected tax records.
  22. Minutes of Board of Selectmen meetings.
  23. Notes, bonds, and the municipal bond coupons.
  24. Ordinances.
  25. Perambulations of the town boundaries.
  26. Permits issued or regulated by the Board of Selectmen included, but not limited to building permits, campgrounds, embankments, fireworks, junkyards, and raffles. (For pistol permits, see Police Department).
  27. Personnel records.
  28. Property record cards and files.
  29. Property tax exemptions for the elderly and veterans.
  30. Road layouts and discontinuances.
  31. Septic plans and approvals.
  32. Summary Inventory of valuation of property.
  33. Tax maps.
  34. Town reports.
Records Schedule. The records series will be kept together within the town office filing system. Personnel records are to be treated as confidential documents and must be kept separate from the other series.
  • Abatement records will be kept for 5 years from the date of issue and then destroyed.
  • Appointments may be disposed of when the oath of office is executed. The certification of the oath by the Sullivan Town Clerk must be kept for 3 years. Thus, if the notice of appointment and the oath are on the same page, then entire record must be preserved (see Town Clerk’s records).
  • Audit documents and the annual audit report will be kept for 10 years and then destroyed.
  • Bids and contracts will be kept for 3 years after the terms of the contract are satisfactorily completed and then destroyed.
  • Bonds and continuation certificates will be kept for 2 years after the expiration of the bond and then destroyed.
  • Capital projects and fixed assets that require accountability will be kept for the life of the project or purpose and then destroyed.
  • Correspondence regarding a specific record should be filed with the record and follow the record’s retention schedule. All other correspondence should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • All other correspondence should be transferred to the archives when it is no longer needed for the day-to-day operations. Such correspondence will be appraised for its permanent historical value and be retained or destroyed accordingly.
  • Current use applications and maps will be kept for 4 years after approval and then destroyed.
  • Current use cards are a permanent record and need to be retained with the property records.
  • Deed copies and grantee/grantor listings may be discarded after the property card is updated.
  • Dredge and fill permits will be kept for 4 years and then destroyed.
  • Easements awarded to the town are permanent records and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Federal tax forms. Form 1099, W-2, and 941 will be kept for 7 years and then destroyed. Form W-1 will be kept for 4 years and then destroyed.
  • The supporting documentation for grants will be kept in accordance with the requirements of the grantor or granting agency.
  • Grievances will be kept in accordance with the rules governing the procedure. They will be kept on file until the expiration of the appeal period and then destroyed.
  • Insurance policies are a permanent record. Policies that have expired or no longer in force should be transferred to the archives.
  • Intent to cut trees or bushes will be kept for 3 years and then destroyed.
  • Intergovernmental agreements will be kept until the agreement expires plus 3 years and then destroyed.
  • Land use change documents will be kept for 6 years after approval and then destroyed.
  • Legal actions involving the town are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Licenses will be kept for the duration of the license plus 1 year and then destroyed.
  • Liens for non-payment of property taxes fall into several categories. The tax sale and redemption book and all resulting receipts are permanent records and shall be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations. The tax sale/liens redeemed report should be kept for 6 years and then destroyed. Liens for non-payment of state taxes or for the support of children will be kept on file until they are released or the court order is lifted. The records will then be kept for 1 year and destroyed.
  • Minutes are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Notes, bonds and municipal coupons are kept for 1 year after a successful audit and then destroyed. The registry book, however, is a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when it is no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Ordinances are permanent records. The town offices will keep current ordinances on file. Upon repeal, expiration, or replacement by a new ordinance the old ordinance should be transferred to the archives.
  • Perambulations are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Permits are a permanent record and shall be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations. However, permits that are withdrawn or denied will be kept for 1 year and destroyed.
  • Personnel records for individuals who are employed by the town are kept in a separate personnel file. Upon termination, their files will be closed. The closed records are kept for 50 years after termination and then destroyed. If the person resumes employment, their file may be reactivated. Personnel files should only contain materials related to the person’s employment such as evaluations, letters of commendation or reprimand, records of training accomplished, and so forth. Medical records or materials related to workers compensation issues must be kept in separate files. Applications for employment with the town must be kept until the job search is completed. Successful applications will be kept in the personnel file. Unsuccessful applications will be kept for 1 year and then destroyed.
  • Property record cards and files are a permanent record. However the nature of their use precludes their being transferred to the archives. Correspondence, permits, and other records contained within the property file should be periodically reviewed and removed if no long applicable. The logical time to perform this task is when ownership is transferred.
  • Property tax exemptions (such as for veterans or the elderly) shall be kept until the exemption no longer applies or ownership of the property is transferred. The record will be kept for 1 year after the event and then destroyed.
  • Road layouts and discontinuances are permanent records and should be transferred to the archives when they are no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Septic plan approvals are retained until the septic system is replaced or removed. The plan should reside with the property record.
  • Street acceptances are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Summaries of inventory of property tax will be kept for 1 year and destroyed.
  • Tax maps are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • The printed town report is a permanent record. The archives will have a complete collection. Another complete collection should be housed at the town hall.
Budget Committee

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Budget Committee’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Minutes of the Budget Committee’s meetings and public hearings.
  2. Drafts of the town budget.
  3. Final town budget.
  4. Correspondence.

Records Schedule. The records created by the committee will be retained by secretary of the committee. These series (except for drafts) are permanent records and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations. Draft budgets may be destroyed when they superseded.


Conservation Commission

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Conservation Commission’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Minutes of Conservation Commission meetings and public hearings.
  2. Correspondence.

Records Schedule. The records created by the committee will be retained by secretary of the committee. Both of these series are permanent records and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.

Fire & Rescue Department/Emergency Management/Forest Fire Service

The Sullivan Fire Department was organized as a volunteer fire company in 1946. While it retains some aspects of a non-governmental organization, it creates records that are public in nature. While the Emergency Management Office and the Forest Fire Service are technically separate agencies they are under the umbrella of the Fire Department at the present time.

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Fire Department’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Emergency medical services run reports.
  2. Fire calls/incident reports.
  3. Investigations of fires conducted by either the department or the department in conjunction with any state or federal agency.
  4. Minutes of the fire department meetings.
  5. Personnel records of the fire department’s membership.
  6. Training records of the fire department’s membership.
  7. Records related specific fire and other emergency calls.
  8. Vehicle and equipment maintenance records.
  9. Correspondence.

Records Schedule. The records series will be kept together within the Fire Department’s filing system. Personnel records are to be treated as confidential documents and must be kept separate from the other series.

  • Emergency medical services run reports will be kept for 10 years and then destroyed.
  • Fire calls/incident reports will be kept for 10 years and then destroyed.
  • All fire investigations are a permanent record. In most cases, such records will be retained by the office that conducts the investigation. Reports retained by the town should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Minutes are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Personnel records for individuals who are employed or volunteer for the fire department will be kept in a separate personnel file. Upon termination, their files will be closed. The closed records will be kept for 50 years after termination and then destroyed. If the person resumes employment or re-volunteers, their file may be reactivated. Personnel files should only contain materials related to the person’s employment such as evaluations, letters of commendation or reprimand, records of training accomplished, and so forth. Medical records or materials related to workers compensation issues must be kept in separate files. Applications for employment with the fire department must be kept until the job search is completed. Successful applications will be kept in the personnel file. Unsuccessful applications will be kept for 1 year and then destroyed.
  • Training records will be kept while the individual is an active member of the department. Should they terminate, the file will be kept for 7 years after termination and then destroyed. If the person rejoins the department before the 7 year limit is up, their file may be reactivated.
    Records related to specific fire and other emergency calls are governed by the rules and regulations of the New Hampshire State Fire Marshall as well as appropriate federal agencies. Therefore, this series is not governed by the records retention program. The Fire Department should consult with the appropriate agencies for their disposition.
  • Vehicle and equipment maintenance records will be kept for the life of the vehicle or equipment plus 2 years and then destroyed.
  • In general, correspondence is not a record series. However, correspondence regarding actions taken for personnel, training, or emergency calls will be filed with those series. All other correspondence should be filed separately and transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
Highway Department

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Highway Department’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Dig safe forms
  2. Equipment and vehicle maintenance logs
  3. Inspection of bridges
  4. Road and bridge construction and reconstruction
  5. Highway complaint slips

Records Schedule. The records series will be kept together within the Highway Department’s filing system.

  • Dig safe forms will be kept for 4 years and then destroyed.
  • Equipment and vehicle maintenance logs will be kept for the life of the equipment and then destroyed after 2 years.
  • Inspections of bridges are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Road and bridge construction and reconstruction forms and related documents will be kept for 6 years and then destroyed.
  • Highway complaint forms will be kept for 6 years and then destroyed.

Overseer of Public Welfare

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Overseer of Public Welfare Department’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Health and human services case records including welfare applications.
  2. Vouchers.

Records Schedule. The records series will be kept together within the Public Welfare Department’s filing system.

  • Case records, applications, and other forms used by the NH Department of Health and Human Services will be kept for as long as the case is active plus 7 years and then destroyed.
  • Vouchers will be kept for 4 years and then destroyed.
Planning Board

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Planning Board’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Driveway permits.
  2. Minutes of planning board meetings and public hearings.
  3. Records (including correspondence) of subdivisions within the Town of Sullivan.
  4. Records (including correspondence of site plan reviews within the Town of Sullivan.
  5. Correspondence not related to subdivisions or site plan reviews.

Records Schedule. The records series will be kept together within the Planning Board’s filing system.

  • Driveway permits should be transferred to the archives when they are no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Minutes of meetings should be transferred to the archives when they are no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Subdivision applications and final plan that are successful are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when they are no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Applications that are not approved or are withdrawn will be kept for 1 year after any final appeals and then destroyed.
  • Site plan reviews are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when they are no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Site plans that are not approved or are withdrawn will be kept for 1 year after any final appeals and then destroyed.
  • Correspondence should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations. Correspondence regarding subdivisions, site plan reviews or driveway permits will be filed with their series and follow those records schedules.

Police Department

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Police Department’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Accident files.
  2. Arrest reports.
  3. Calls for service.
  4. Criminal cases.
  5. Motor vehicle violations.
  6. Pistol permits.

Records Schedule. The records series will be kept together within the Police Department’s filing system.

  • Accident files involving a fatality will be kept for 10 years and then destroyed.
  • Accident files involving a hit and run will be kept for as long as the statute of limitations applies plus 5 years and then destroyed.
  • Accident files involving an injury will be kept for 6 years and then destroyed.
  • Accident files involving an arrest will be kept for 6 years and then destroyed.
  • Accident files involving the town will be kept for 6 years and then destroyed.
  • Accident files involving property damage will be kept for 6 years and then destroyed.
  • Arrest reports are a permanent record and will be retained by the department.
  • Calls for service and or general service reports will be kept for 5 years and then destroyed.
  • Criminal cases that are closed will be kept for as long as the statute of limitations applies plus 5 years and then destroyed.
  • Criminal cases that are open will be kept for as long as the statute of limitations applies plus 5 years and then destroyed.
  • Motor vehicle violations will be kept for 3 years and then destroyed.
  • Pistol permits will be kept until they expire plus 1 year and then destroyed.
Public Health Department

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Public Health Department’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Health complaints.
  2. Health inspections.
  3. Health licenses.
  4. Health service agreements with state agencies.

Records Schedule. The records series will be kept together within the Public Health Department’s filing system.

  • Health complaints will be kept on file until the expiration of any appeals and then destroyed.
  • Health inspections will be kept for 3 years and then destroyed.
  • Health licenses will be kept for the current year plus 6 years and then destroyed.
  • Any health service agreements will be kept on file for the term of the agreement plus 7 years and then destroyed.

Public Library

Series. As of the latest date given above, the library’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Invoices for materials and services purchased by the library.
  2. Bank statements for the accounts held by the library.
  3. Correspondence.
  4. Minutes of Library Trustee’s meetings.
  5. Library registration cards.

Records Schedule. The files will be kept together within the library’s filing system.

  • Invoices will be kept 1 year after a successful audit and then destroyed.
  • Bank statements will be kept for 6 years after a successful audit and then destroyed.
  • Library registration records will be kept until withdrawn plus 1 year and then destroyed.
  • Minutes are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Correspondence should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
Recreation Committee

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Recreation Committee’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Minutes of committee meetings.
  2. Correspondence.

Records Schedule. The records created by the committee will be kept by the secretary of the committee. Minutes and correspondence are permanent records and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.


Supervisors of the Checklist

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Supervisors of the Checklist records consist of the following series:

  1. Election challenge affidavits.
  2. Voter checklists.
  3. Voter registration cards.

Records Schedule. The files will be maintained within the supervisor’s filing system.

  • Election challenge affidavits will be kept for 1 year after the election and then destroyed.
  • Only the voter checklist that is marked will be retained by the town (see RSA 659:102). The checklist will be kept for 5 years and then destroyed.
  • Voter registration cards will be kept for as long as the voter is active. Once a voter has been purged, the card will be kept for 5 years and then destroyed.

Tax Collector

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Tax Collector records consist of the following series:

  1. Property tax warrants.
  2. Residence tax warrants.
  3. Tax deeded property.
  4. Tax receipts.

Records Schedule. The files will be maintained within the Tax Collector’s filing system.

  • Property tax warrants and lists are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Residence tax warrants and lists are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • All information regarding tax deeded properties are permanent records. This includes all registered and certified receipts for notifying owners and mortgagees of intent to deed the property. These files should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Receipts for paid taxes will be kept for 6 years and then destroyed. This includes taxes for land use change, property taxes, special assessment taxes, and timber yield taxes.
Town Clerk

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Town Clerk’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Election Ballots not sent to the state or school district.
  2. Licenses for dogs.
  3. Rabies certificates for dogs.
  4. Minutes of town meetings
  5. Motor vehicle application for titles, titles, and voided titles.
  6. Motor vehicle permits and registrations.
  7. Oaths of office.
  8. Vital records.

Records Schedule. All records series will be kept within the Town Clerk’s filing system.

  • Election ballots not forwarded to the New Hampshire Secretary of State for disposition will be kept for 60 days after the conclusion of the election or after the conclusion of challenges and recounts. After that they will be destroyed.
  • Licenses for dogs will be kept for the current year plus 1 year and then destroyed.
  • Minutes of town meetings are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Rabies certificates will be destroyed once the information has been recorded.
  • Motor vehicle applications for title will be kept until a successful audit plus 1 year and then destroyed.
  • Motor vehicle titles and voided titles will be sent to the New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles.
  • Oaths of office will be kept for the term of office plus 3 years and then destroyed.
  • Vital records are permanent. Birth records are restricted for 100 years from 2001 with a “rolling date” every 10 years. Thus records from 1901 to 1910 will have the restriction lifted in 2010 and so forth. Copies of birth records issued after the restricted date may only be released to the person recorded on the register upon presentation of a photo-id. Records prior to 1901 should be transferred to the archives. Marriage and death records should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for the day-to-day operations.

Town Treasurer

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Town Treasurer’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Invoices for materials and services purchased by the Town of Sullivan.
  2. Bank statements and records of canceled checks for the accounts of the Town of Sullivan.
  3. Ledger and journal entries.
  4. Purchase orders or vouchers for materials and services purchased by the Town of Sullivan.
  5. Treasurer’s accounts or cashbooks.
  6. Treasurer’s warrants.
  7. Payroll records.

Records Schedule. The records series will be kept together within the treasurer’s filing system. At the end of each fiscal year (December 31), the working files of the treasurer will be closed and the series identified. The invoices, bank statements and other financial records will be prepared for the annual audit, which is usually conducted in February or March. Upon successful completion of the audit, the files will be transferred to the hold file.

  • Invoices will be kept for 1 year after a successful audit and then destroyed.
  • Ledgers and journal entries will be kept for 1 year after a successful audit and then destroyed.
  • Bank statements will be kept for 6 years after a successful audit and then destroyed.
  • Purchase orders or vouchers will be kept for 1 year after a successful audit and then destroyed.
  • Treasurer’s accounts or cashbooks will be kept for 6 years after a successful audit and then destroyed.
  • Treasurer’s warrants will be kept for 1 year after a successful audit and then destroyed.
  • Payroll records will be kept for 1 year after a successful audit and then destroyed.
Trustees of the Cemeteries

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Cemetery Trustee’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Minutes of committee meetings.
  2. Correspondence.
  3. Cemetery plats.

Records Schedule. The trustees records will be kept by the secretary of the board. Minutes and correspondence are permanent records and should be transferred to the archives when no longer needed for day-to-day operations. Plats showing the location of cemetery lots are not governed by the municipal record laws. However, given their historical significance, the older editions should be transferred to archives when they are superseded by new plats.


Trustees of Trust Funds

Series. As of the latest date given above, the Trustee of Trust Funds records consist of the following series:

  1. Bank statements.
  2. Minutes of trustee meetings.
  3. Quarterly reports on fund activities.

Records Schedule. All records series will be kept within the trustee’s filing system.

  • Bank statements regarding trust funds are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when they are no longer needed for day to day operations.
  • Minutes of meetings are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when they no longer needed for day-to-day operations.
  • Quarterly reports on fund activities are a permanent record and should be transferred to the archives when they no longer needed for day to day operations.

Zoning Board of Adjustment

Series. As of the latest date given above, the ZBA’s records consist of the following series:

  1. Minutes of board meetings and public hearings.
  2. Records (including correspondence) of all special exceptions granted by the board within the Town of Sullivan.

Records Schedule. The records of the board will be kept by the secretary of the board. All records created by the Zoning Board of Adjustment are permanent and should be transferred to the archives when they are no longer needed for the day to day operations.