Public Utility District #1 of Lewis County (“District”), in accordance with the Washington State Public Records Act RCW 42.56, allows for the inspection or copies of records unless specifically exempted by law. After submitting a request, you may be contacted to clarify your request or to coordinate delivery of records.
Public records are any writing prepared, owned, used, or retained by us, regardless of physical form, that reflect the conduct or performance of the utility. Also, a valid public record request seeks a specific and identifiable public document. This does not include a general request for information. If you are not aware of the title of a specific record, please provide additional information such as subject matter, dates, location or the persons/issues involved, and the account numbers which will help staff locate records responsive to your specific request.
HOW TO SUBMIT A PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST
There are several ways in which you can submit a records request.
Submitting an online public records request is the preferred and most efficient method.
The District accepts new requests via the GovQA portal. GovQA is a web-based records center used for tracking and delivery of records requests. Click “My Records Center” to log in and/or create an account. To view requests you have previously submitted click “My Requests.” To initiate a new request, click on “Submit a Records Request.”
Please note: Use of this portal is best supported by the Chrome browser.
Requests may also be submitted by completing the Lewis County PUD Records Request Form and presenting it:
- In person to any customer service staff person, Monday-Friday 8AM to 5 PM at 321 NW Pacific Avenue, Chehalis, WA 98532;
- By mail: Lewis County PUD, PO Box 330, Chehalis, WA 98532;
- By e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By phone: 360-345-1605
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS
You will be able to download records from the Public Records Request Center when they are ready for disclosure. Alternatively, you can receive them by U.S. mail or by picking them up. For large volumes of documents, especially on paper, we can set an appointment for you to inspect them at our office.
The District reserves the right to charge fees to the requestor in accordance with the amounts provided in RCW 42.56.120 and as amended by the Legislature. Please review the fee schedule below for typical fees as allowed under RCW 42.56. The District may use any other method authorized by the Public Records Act for imposing charges for public records including, but not limited to, charging a flat fee or charging a customized service charge. No fee shall be charged for the inspection of public records or locating public documents and making them available for copying, with the exception of the customized service charge allowed in RCW 42.56.120. The District may waive charges assessed for records when the Public Records Officer determines collecting a fee is not cost effective.
It’s helpful to include as much information as you can, such as document titles, specific dates, times, addresses, and case numbers. This allows District staff to more effectively locate documents pertaining to your request.
Under the Public Records Act, I am requesting records from the Operations Department documenting tree trimming occurrences between January 1, 2019 and June 30, 2019.
Under the Public Records Act, please provide Accounting records documenting purchases of fleet vehicles between March 1, 2018 and May 15, 2020.
If your request contains a variety of records from multiple departments, please select which departments you believe will have records, or “Unknown/I don’t know”. The Public Records Officer will help to determine which departments need to receive the request.
The processing of your request or official response to your request may take up to five (5) business days. If your request is not complicated and records are readily available, it may be processed at the time it is received.
No, your request becomes a public record and can be requested and/or viewed by others.
If records contain information that may affect others and may be exempt from disclosure, the District may send a notice to those parties informing them of the request prior to providing the records to the requestor.
If a requestor fails to fulfill their obligations to inspect, respond to clarification for unsearchable requests from District staff, or make any payment within 30 calendar days, the District may close the request and consider it abandoned.
Listings of the most common exemptions are found at RCW 42.56.210-510. In addition, other statute exemptions may prohibit or exempt the disclosure of other classes of information.
NOTE: The Public Disclosure Act (RCW 42.56) is for the purpose of providing existing documentation or records, not for the purpose of gathering, sorting and/or creating new documentation.
For an outline overview of exemptions, please click HERE.
Large requests may be handled in installments. A 10 percent deposit of estimated costs may be required prior to release of any records.
WHO DO I CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION?
Taresa Robertson, Public Records Officer