City raises open-records requests fees

Staff writer

The Marion City Council approved a resolution for city fees. The council voted 4-to-1 to charge 50 cents per page when records are requested plus a $5 fee per 15 minutes of work if research is required.

The 50 cent per page fee was an increase from previous fees.

The research fee is attached to certain open records requests where City Administrator Doug Kjellin has to search for files in the archives. Council member Todd Heitschmidt voted against the resolution because he thought there should have been a higher fee for open records requests.

“These people are paid by tax payers,” council member Jerry Dieter said of employees. “We owe them that we don’t charge for a huge request.”

Kjellin compiled data comparing Marion to other cites of similar size and Marion County. Hillsboro charges $10 per hour and 15 cents per page. Peabody charges actual employee cost per hour and 15 cents per page, 35 cents for color. Marion County charges employee cost for 15 minutes minimum and 25 cents per page.

Another point of contention was portable toilet rental. The council agreed to stick to the rates from before, $25 for commercial use and no charge for community events like the marshmallow roast. Kjellin said the qualifications for a community event would be more strict.

In other business:

  • The council approved payment of 15 percent of the life and disability insurance for Marion firefighters through the Marion Fire Department Firefighters Relief Association. Marion will make a contribution of about $1,200 to the insurance cost of $7,642. The city is mandated through state statutes to cover 15 percent of the insurance.
  • Kjellin explained the rational for placing city items for bid on the Internet sales site Purple Wave. He said it gives the city the best chance to make money on the items up for bid, including old computers but also allow local bidders to compete. He said an item about a Purple Wave auction would appear on the Nov. 13 agenda.
  • Marion resident Bart Terry, 120 N. Lincoln St., asked the council about the progress for cleaning trees and rocks out of the drainage ditch near his property. The ditch, once filled with rocks, debris, and plants, has a tendency and backup. Kjellin said he had previously marked the trees to be removed three weeks ago but a crew had not been able to do the work. He said he would check to see if the work could be completed.

The next Marion City Council meeting will be 4:30 Tuesday Nov. 13.

 

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