Freedom of Information (FOIL)

The Freedom of Information Law (Public Officers Law, Article 6) is New York State's principal statute on providing for public access to the records of government.  Please read the information, below, on how to submit a FOIL request with the Town of Bethlehem.  The records access officer is responsible for ensuring appropriate agency response to public requests for access to records.  NYS Freedom of Information Law web page

How to Submit a FOIL Request

If you wish to access a record under the FOIL, you must make your request in writing. Please be as specific as possible in describing the records in which you are interested. We encourage you to use the online request form.  A formal FOIL request form is not required. Within five business days of the receipt of a request, we will send an acknowledgement that we received the request. Some information may be downloaded directly from this website. Please note, the entire web site and documents contained within can be searched using the Search Bethlehem feature.

If you do not find the information you seek here, please use the online request form or mail a completed FOIL Request Form to:

Non-Police Records Access Officer

Kim Whitsitt
Records Access Officer
Town of Bethlehem
445 Delaware Ave.
Delmar, NY  12054

Police Records Access

Police Records Office
Town of Bethlehem
447 Delaware Ave.
Delmar, NY  12054

Why You Might Be Denied Access to a FOIL Request

Certain records or portions thereof are excepted from disclosure under authority of Public Officers Law Section 87.2 (a-1). These records include those which:
  • Are specifically exempted from disclosure under state or federal statute
  • If disclosed, would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy
  • If disclosed, would impair present or imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations
  • Are trade secrets or are submitted to the agency or are derived from information obtained from a commercial enterprise and which, if disclosed, would cause substantial injury to the competitive position of the subject enterprise
  • Are compiled for law enforcement purposes and which if disclosed would interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings, deprive a person of the right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication, identify a confidential source, or disclose confidential information regarding a criminal investigation, or reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, except routine techniques and procedures
  • If disclosed would endanger the life or safety of any person
  • Are inter-agency or intra-agency materials which are not statistical or factual tabulations or data, instructions to staff which affect the public or are final agency policies or determinations, are external audits, including audits performed by the comptroller and the federal government computer codes
  • Are examination questions or answers which are requested prior to the final administration of such questions
A denial of access must be in writing, stating the reason for denial and advising your right to an appeal.

How to Appeal When You've Been Denied Access

If you've been denied access by the Records Access Office, you will be notified by them in writing. You have a right to appeal, but you must do so within 30 days. An appeal must be filed in writing and mailed to:

Records Appeals Officer

David VanLuven
Records Appeals Officer
Town of Bethlehem
445 Delaware Ave.
Delmar, NY 12054

FOIL Fee Schedule

There is a charge of $0.25 per page for copies, not in excess of 11 by 17 inches. A fee for copy of other records will be charged based upon the actual cost of reproduction.