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Friday, February 2nd, 2007

Prices vary locally

By William Kincaid
After completing a local government survey, Auglaize County Recorder Ann Billings decided to change copy costs to 25 cents apiece in 2005 - $1.75 cheaper than the Mercer County Recorder's current charge.
Billings told the newspaper that her office used to charge $1 per copy before increasing the cost to $2 at the recommendation of the Ohio Attorney General in 2003.
However, in 2005, Billings said the Attorney General reversed the opinion and suggested that Ohio recorders charge "at cost" - or in other words, the physical cost of producing a copy, including paper and toner costs.
"I called our prosecutor (in 2005)," Billings said. "How the heck do we figure out (at cost)?"
Billings said the prosecutor suggested performing a local survey to determine the average cost for producing public document copies.
She also pointed out that citizens can inspect documents at the office or print copies from the online Web site - both services free of charge. Billings said the online archive dates back to 1984.
Sue Ellen Kohler, the Auglaize County Clerk of Courts, said her office has charged citizens 25 cents a page for public document copies for quite some time now.
"We had that rule at least five years," she told the newspaper. "That seems to be a fair price that people are willing to pay."
Kohler said it's her office's goal to have case docket sheets available online sometime this summer.
"A lot's going to depend on the legislation," she said. "Privacy issues are of prime importance ... we're just going to roll with the punches."
She also said that someday, the office may even provide document images online as well.
"We just want to serve the people the best we can," she said.
Additional online stories on this date
Ohio citizens are entitled to paper copies of all public documents, with a few exceptions.
But if the officials who act as custodians of public records assist in the copying, it will cost. In Mercer County, cost for copies varies widely between 10 cents and $2 per copied page. [More]
FORT RECOVERY - Highly-touted games don't always live up to their hype, but Thursday night's tussle at the Fort Site Fieldhouse certainly did.
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With the Western Buckeye League meet coming up next week, the Celina wrestling team started its final tuneup with a pair of dual matches as part of a four-team get together at the Fieldhouse on Thursday. [More]
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