Public Access to Records

Public Records Policy

The City of Sun Prairie is a local form of government comprised of a Mayor, eight-member Common Council, and other boards, commissions, and committees.  According to Section 19.31 of the Wisconsin State Statutes, it is public policy that all persons are entitled to the greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those officers and employees who represent them.  Further, providing persons with such information is declared to be an essential function of representative government and an integral part of the routine duties of officers and employees whose responsibility is to provide such information.

In general, anyone requesting access to or a copy of records held by the City will have that request granted except as provided by law.  Requests for information should be directed to the designated legal custodian as identified in the table below.

Legal Custodians of City Records

Types of Records
Job Title of Custodian
Personal and Property assessment records City Assessor
All legal proceedings City Attorney
Election records, licenses, council action City Clerk
All engineering records City Engineer
Building permits and records of violations Director of Building Inspection
City development and zoning Director of Planning/Economic Dev.
Public Works projects Direct of Public Works
All finance records and tax information Finance Director
Personnel files, safety policies, training files Human Resources Director
All police records including status of police investigations, press releases and Municipal Court records Police Chief or designee
Police and Fire Commission records President of the Police and Fire Commission
Public Library records Library Director
Water and Light Utilities Office Manager of the Water and Light Commission
Wastewater Treatment Plant records Superintendent of Wastewater Treatment
City negotiations, general press releases and all other city business City Administrator

Questions regarding the status of information under public records laws will be addressed to the City Attorney or any of the legal custodians as listed above.

The City of Sun Prairie requires payment at the time of delivery.  

The City may require prepayment for any requests expected to exceed $50.00.

Records not readily accessible, which require research to locate, shall be assessed a location fee.  Location fees shall not be required until a minimum of $50.00 has accumulated (§19.35(3)(c)); thereafter a charge equal to the hours necessary to locate the records multiplied by the per hour wages plus benefits of the employee locating the records will be assessed.  

Per City Ordinance Section 2.92.040, a requester shall be charged the following fee to defray the cost of copying records:

  • Photocopies:  Up to 4 pages at no charge, then $0.25 per page
  • Computer Disk:  $20.00 per disk + $1.10 tax + $0.60 postage=$21.70
  • Photographs/Digital Images:  $1.00 per image
  • Engineering Maps or Prints:  $5.00 per page
  • Video Tapes:  $15.00 per video tape
  • Audio Tapes:  $5.00 per audio tape

Click here for the Open Records Request Form (PDF)