Data Request Policy

Right to Access Public Data

The Data Practices Act (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13) presumes that all government Data is public unless a state or federal law says the data is not public.  Government data is a term that means all recorded information a government entity has, including paper, email, CD-ROMs, photographs, etc.

The Data Practices Act also provides that the City of Lake St. Croix Beach must keep all government data in a way that makes it easy for you, as a member of the public, to access public data.  You have the right to look at (inspect), free of charge, all public data that we keep.  You have the right to look at data, free of charge, before deciding to request copies.

How to Make a Data Request

To look at data or request copies of data that the City of Lake St. Croix Beach keeps, make a written request.  Make your written request for data to the appropriate individual listed in the Data Practices Contacts document.  You may make your written request for data by mail, FAX, email, or in person using the Data Request Form.

The City of Lake St. Croix Beach cannot require you, as a member of the public, to identify yourself or explain the reason for your data request.  However, depending on how you want us to process your request (if, for example, you want us to mail you copies of data), we may need some information about you.  If you choose not to give us any identifying information, we will provide you with contact information so you may check on the status of your request.  In addition, please keep in mind that if we do not understand your request and have no way to contact you, we will not be able to begin processing your request.

How We Respond to a Data Request

Upon receiving your written request, we will work to process it.  Five hours of staff time have been designated per week for data request research.  Additional time may be available only as time and staffing levels permit.  Processing time will vary depending on the complexity of the request and the volume of prior requests.  Requests will be received and processed only at the City of Lake St. Croix Beach City Hall during normal business hours.

If requesting copies and they cannot be made at the time of the request, copies will be supplied as soon as reasonably possible.  Where providing immediate copies and or inspection would unreasonably interfere with the efficient performance of the City's operations, the requesting person may be required to make an appointment or return at a later time to inspect and/or to pick up copies of the requested data.

When public data on individuals is requested by the individual and an immediate response is not possible, the authorized City employee will provide the data within ten days of the date of the request, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.

  • If we do not have the data, we will notify you in writing as soon as reasonably possible.
  • If we have the data, but the data is not public, we will notify you in writing as soon as reasonable possible and state which specific law states that the data is not public.
  • If we have the data and the data is public, we will respond to your request appropriately and promptly, within a reasonable amount of time by doing one of the following:
    • Arrange a date, time and place to inspect data, for free, if your request is to look at the data.
    • Provide you with copies of the data as soon as reasonably possible. You may choose to pick up your copies, or we will mail or FAX them to you.       If you want us to send you the copies, you will need to provide us with an address or FAX number. We will provide electronic copies (such as email or CD-ROM) upon request, if we keep the data in electronic format.       Information about copy charges can be found in the copy cost section. The City of Lake St. Croix Beach will arrange for you to pre-pay for the copies.

If you do not understand some of the data (technical terminology, abbreviations or acronyms), please let us know. We will give you an explanation if you ask.

Request to Create or Collect New Data

The Data Practices Act does not require us to create or collect new data in response to a data request if we do not already have the data, or to provide data in a specific form or arrangement if we do not keep the data in that form or arrangement. For example, if the data you request is on paper only, we are not required to create electronic documents to respond to your request. If we agree to create data in response to your request, we will work with you on the details of your request, including cost and response time. In addition, the Data Practices Act does not require us to answer questions that are not requests for data.

Requests for Summary Data

Summary data consists of statistical records or reports that are prepared by removing all identifiers from private or confidential data on individuals. The preparation of summary data is not a means to gain access to private or confidential data. The City of Lake St. Croix Beach will prepare summary data if you make your request in writing and pay for the cost of creating the data. Upon receiving your written request (use the data request form) we will respond within ten business days with the data or details of when the data will be ready and how much we will charge.