Fees charged for records vary greatly by county
Government documents available to Montanans as public information are not necessarily free to the public, and agencies charge a wide range of fees for getting the records, a recent statewide survey found.
A project this summer by news organizations to check the ability of citizens to obtain public records sent surveyors into 56 counties seeking city council minutes, property tax records, court files, and information from schools and sheriff's offices.
In some cases, information was there simply for the asking. Offices in 18 counties did not charge a fee for any documents copied for the volu...