[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Blairstown 9-17-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-09. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the "Access to Public Records Ordinance" of the Township of Blairstown.
The Access to Public Records Ordinance is hereby created pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.
The Township Clerk is hereby designated the Custodian of Records for all public records maintained by the Township and shall act in this capacity on behalf of the Township.
The Township shall make all public records accessible to the citizens of this state in accordance with the procedures and definitions set forth in N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. unless said records are exempt from inspection as set forth in said statute.
The Custodian of Records shall permit a public record to be inspected, examined and copied by any person during regular business hours of the Township Clerk and shall be permitted to redact same in accordance with the governing statute.
Paper, digital media and emailed and faxed copies.
[Amended 8-8-2010 by Ord. No. 2010-04]
Reproduced paper copies for letter-sized pages and smaller shall be provided at $0.05 per page.
Reproduced paper copies for legal-sized pages and larger shall be provided at seven $0.07 per page. (Oversized documents requested to be reproduced in original size will be billed at the actual out-of-pocket cost to the Township to have the document reproduced by an outside service and/or the Township’s professional, as appropriate.)
Audio tapes, CDs and other nonpaper digital media shall be billed at actual cost.
There shall be no charge for emailed or faxed records, provided the requested records can be delivered in that format without modification or damage.
In the event the nature, format, manner of collation, or volume of a public record embodied in the form of print matter to be inspected, examined, or copied is such that the record cannot be reproduced by ordinary document copying equipment in ordinary business size or involves an extraordinary expenditure of time and effort to accommodate the request, the Township of Blairstown may charge, in addition to the actual cost of duplicating the record, a special service charge equal to the sum of $45 per hour for each hour expended by the Custodian or his or her designee.
The Custodian shall provide a copy of a record in the medium requested if the Township maintains the record in that medium. If the Township does not maintain the record in the medium requested, the Custodian shall convert the record to the medium requested or provide a copy in some other meaningful medium. The Township may charge a special charge for reproducing a record in a medium which requires extensive use of information technology, labor cost for personnel providing the service and any other costs that are attributable to the Township for the programming, clerical, and supervisory assistance required in processing a request.
All requests for public records shall be submitted on a form maintained in the office of the Township Clerk. The Custodian of Records may require a deposit against the estimated costs for reproducing the documents sought through an anonymous request whenever the Custodian of Records anticipates that the information thus requested will cost in excess of $5 to reproduce.
The form shall be hand-delivered, mailed, transmitted electronically or otherwise conveyed to the Custodian of Records. If the Custodian of Records is unable to promptly comply with the request, the Custodian of Records shall sign and date the form, indicate the specific basis for denying immediate access on the request form and promptly return it to the requestor.
If a portion of a record is not subject to access, the Custodian of Records shall delete or excise from a copy of any record that portion which is exempt from access.
If a record is in storage or temporarily unavailable at the time of the request, the Custodian of Records shall make arrangements to obtain a copy of the record and promptly supply it to the requestor.
If production of a record would substantially disrupt the municipality's operations, the Custodian of Records may deny access after attempting to reach a reasonable solution with the requestor to accommodate the needs of the requestor and the municipality.
Any officer or employee of the Township who receives a request for access to a government record shall forward the request to the Custodian of Records or direct the requestor to the Custodian of Records.
The Custodian of Records shall grant access to a government record or deny a request for access to a government record as soon as possible, but not later than seven business days after receiving the request provided the record is currently available and not in storage or archived in which case notice of same will be provided to the requestor within the same time period. Failure to respond within seven days will be deemed a denial of the request unless there is no way to communicate with the requestor.