FRESNO, Calif. --A $1.5 million facelift promises to make the Fresno County Assessor-Recorder's office more productive.
The newly remodeled Assessor's Office brightly stands out in the hall of records in a Fresno County building built in 1935.
Last July, the office flooded when a construction worker accidentally broke a sprinkler pipe on the third floor.
I saw the rain coming down," County assessor Paul Dictos said. "It was coming down like Noah's flood."
Dictos can't wait to get his 48 employees back together on the second floor.
They were scattered throughout the building handling marriage licenses, birth certificates, property and tax documents.
"That was a rude awakening that this building is getting old but there is a blessing in disguise," he said. "Look at what we got now from a disaster to a beautiful place like this."
This room had been used for storage but all of these records had to be moved so they wouldn't sustain any water damage.
"This was full of files here, about 300,000 files," he said. "We are scanning them all. We will be paperless very soon, by the end of the year."
Among the documents which have already been scanned, Fresno County brands used to identify livestock.
They date all the way back to 1857.
"But this is the job of the recorder," Dictos said. "To preserve the document for posterity."
The new office also features private rooms where taxpayers can go over sensitive information.