PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY
January 14, 2013
Access to Public Records
The Town of Somerville recognizes and supports the public’s right to inspect and make copies of public records in accordance with law and, to that end, it will make public records available for public inspection and copying on a reasonable basis subject to the policies established herein.
Municipal records fall into different categories, most of which are available to the public, and some of which may not be. Ordinances, resolutions, the City Code, deeds, easements, permits, contracts, budgets, etc. are as a general rule, available to the public for inspection and copying. Certain other records such as law enforcement, judicial records, sensitive personnel records, and records the disclosure of which would be detrimental to the best interest of the public, drafts of documents, information relating to taxes paid by a particular business, records not subject to disclosure or copying by law or by licensing agreement, may not be available for public inspection or copying.
In order to assure the efficient processing of a request to review and copy public records and documents of the Town, the Town Clerk is hereby requested to require all persons and/or organizations requesting access to any public records or documents to complete the form attached, Public Records Request Form, and to maintain a file of all requests. Requests to inspect or copy public records may be delayed if the record is not described with specificity, research is necessary to locate the records or a review of the records is required to determine their status, or the records are so voluminous in size or nature that it requires additional time to identify and produce them.
All requests to inspect or copy public records will be in a time and a manner that will not interfere with the normal operation of the Town. In addition, to defer the costs incurred by the Town for providing copies of documents, the Town hereby adopts a copying charge of twenty-five cents ($.25) per page. The first (1) hour of Town staff time responding to a request is free and additional time thereafter spent copying, researching or preparing documents for review or copying will be at a rate of fifteen dollars ($15.00) per hour or portion thereof.
The Town Clerk, as records custodian, shall designate a reasonable time and place for the review of records upon request. Individuals seeking access to public records shall not be allowed to remove original documents from the Town building in which they are housed. Original documents shall remain under the custody of the Town Clerk while being reviewed.
Adopted this 14th day of January 2013.
To request public records, please fill out the form below and present in person at Town Hall, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
Town of Somerville
PO BOX 153
Somerville, AL 35670
Cost of Copies:
$.25 per page
The first hour of City Staff time responding to a request is free and additional time thereafter is at a rate of $15.00 per hour or portion thereof.