Soldotna Council puts restrictions on FOIA requests

Apr 18, 2019

Residents and others wishing to request public information officially from the Soldotna city clerk’s office will have some new rules to deal with if they have a large order. 

City Clerk Shellie Saner explained to the city council at last week’s meeting why her office requested the change.

“Currently, state law allows that the first five hours of research time or production time is allowed per month per request at no fee. But if it's going to take us longer than five hours, and there's a large cost associated with it, (we) send the applicant an explanation of the research time and the cost associated, and we don't proceed until they agreed for payment, and in some cases, we can request payment in advance,” Saner said. “We recently had one that took several hours of the staffs time that exceeded the five hours to produce that record.”

That prompted a query from the mayor.

“How often do we get requests that that take considerable time,” asked Mayor Nels Anderson.

“In my last five and a half years that was the first one,” Saner replied.

“Okay. Fair enough,” said Anderson.

The new regs passed the council unanimously.