“A public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records and shall make all reasonable efforts to supply the requested records at the lowest possible cost. No public body shall impose any extraneous, intermediary, or surplus fees or expenses to recoup the general costs associated with creating or maintaining records or transacting the general business of the public body. Any duplicating fee charged by a public body shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication. Prior to conducting a search for records, the public body shall notify the requester in writing that the public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for requested records and inquire of the requester whether he would like to request a cost estimate in advance of the supplying of the requested records as set forth in subsection F of § 2.2-3704 of the Code of Virginia.”
Before processing a request, a public body may require a payment up to the advance determination if it expects costs to exceed $200. The payment will go toward providing the requested records. (Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704).
Before processing a request for records, a public body may require the requester to pay any amounts owed to the public body for previous requests for records that remain unpaid 30 days or more after billing. (Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704).
Louisa County does not have a fixed charge for accessing or searching for requested records. Charges for accessing or searching for requested records are based on the hourly rate of the person searching for the records in question. To keep costs down, the county attempts to use the lowest-paid staff members capable of retrieving the requested records in responding to a request. However, in situations where a staff member is required to search through his or her own email and files, the staff member will search for the requested records and the search charge will be based on that employee's hourly rate.
Costs may include but are not limited to: printed copies @ .50 cents per page, hourly staff pay rate, standard USPS postage rate, and $2 for CD disc. (Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3704).