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County adopts policy on info requests

January 02, 2001

County adopts policy on info requests



By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer


The Washington County Commissioners Tuesday adopted a written policy for public information requests.

Some changes, including waiving some costs, were made after the commissioners discussed the policy at a Nov. 21 meeting.

The public information policy consolidates procedures already in place for dealing with requests from the public and news media and updates some of those procedures, County Attorney Richard W. Douglas said.

The policy requires documents to be provided within 30 days of a request unless a request for information is denied. If a request is denied, the county must inform the person requesting the information within 10 days.

Under the policy, a person upset about not getting requested information can request an administrative hearing before a hearing officer in lieu of filing in court.

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Fees are 15 cents each for an 8-by-11 copy of a document, with fees waived if five or fewer copies are made. That cost decreased from a previous proposal of 25 cents per page.

The charge for plats will be $1 per sheet and plats larger than 8-by-11 will be $5 per sheet. No charge will be made if the total fee would be $1 or less.

Search fees are charged at $15 per hour after the first two hours. The earlier proposed cost was $35 per hour.

The policy is modeled on documents from the state Attorney General's Office.

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