City News

Posted on: July 7, 2014

Benefits of the New Records Policy

It is the city’s goal to provide convenient access to public information and records. Whenever possible, the most requested records are placed online to facilitate convenient access without the need for a formal request. The vast majority of city records are provided routinely in the normal course of business without charge.

On June 16, 2014, the Montrose City Council adopted changes to the fees charged for research and retrieval associated with requests for public records.

These changes, implemented as a result new legislation at the State level, will likely save citizens money. The legislation caps the amount charged for research and retrieval at $30 per hour after one hour is provided at no charge. Previously, the hourly rate per hour was based on the rate of pay, including benefits, for the employee completing the task.

On average, the City of Montrose receives 40 records requests each year. In 2012, 2013, and 2014 (to date), only one records request per year was assessed research and retrieval fees. In 2011, no such fees were collected.

In 2013, a local business owner was charged 2.5 hours of staff time at $31.32 per hour, for a total of $78.30. Under the new fee schedule, charges would be 1.5 hours at $30, or a total of $45, for a savings of $33.30.

Likewise, in 2012, a citizen requested building permit information and was charged 3 hours at $27.14 per hour, for a total of $81.42. Under new the fee schedule, the citizen would be charged 2 hours @ $30 = $60, for a savings of $21.42

The most current example involves a slight cost increase. An out-of-town law firm requested building permit and inspection information and was assessed 5 hours of staff time at $22.49 per hour, or a total of $112.45. Under the new fees, charges would be 4 hours at $30.00 hour, or $120.00, or an increase of $7.55.

The changes implemented by City Council also include a legal review fee of $100 per hour, charged in 15 minute increments after 15 minutes at no charge. As with research and retrieval, this fee assessment is a very rare occurrence.

The bulk of the fees charged for records requests are for copies and digital media. The amount charged for copies remains unchanged at $.25 per page, and the amount for a CD/DVD remains unchanged at $25.

For more information on the revised records policy, contact the City Clerk’s office at (970) 240-1422 or visit the link shown below.

City Clerk's Office Web Page...
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