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Hartselle School Board OKs charge to retrieve information

By Staff
Clif Knight, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle School Board will now charge for retrieving information from stored records.
The decision was reached at the Nov. 18 school board meeting following discussion of a recent written request received from Hartselle resident Mike Dowdy for information pertaining to a school-owned house located on Booth Street. A school support worker occupies the house.
Superintendent Dr. Lee Hartsell said information Dowdy asked for is contained in records that have been in storage for several years.
"I have been told it will take someone a week to dig out the information he has requested," he pointed out. "I have discussed this with Bill Shinn, our attorney, and he advises me that we can legally charge for the time it takes to produce a record."
He acknowledged that the house in question was purchased by the school board 17 or 18 years ago and is occupied by a school custodian.
"The purpose is to have someone near the school in the event of an emergency. There's nothing wrong with this," he said.
"The key is that it has to be a reasonable request," said Ronnie Abercrombie, board chairman. "If you're talking about a request for a record or information that's going to require a lot of research, we ought not to do it without making a charge."
Board member Jeff Gray offered the following motion: "Establish the estimated time and cost to produce a requested record, notify the requestor and collect the charge up front." The motion was approved without opposition.
The board acted on other matters as follows:

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