Printing County’s Legal Notices Not As Simple As It Sounds
When different county-related Tax and zoning issues arise, I often get asked, “Why didn’t the county publish a legal notice in the Outpost?” In response I briefly explain that in order to publish legal advertisements for Stevens County, there are many different legal procedures and requirements a publication must meet.
Every spring the county sends out a request for bid to print all of its legal notices. Only one publication is selected as the official newspaper to do all legal advertising for the county, and the contract is awarded to the lowest bidding publication that meets all legal requirements. For the last seven years, the contract has been awarded to The Chewelah Independent. Every week all of the legal notices issued from the county courthouse are published by The Independent, which has been in existence for more than 109 years.
If the Outpost were to compete in the bidding process, I would have to file special documentation to become designated as a legal newspaper in the county and also undergo a substantial postal permit change. The legal newspaper process would involve hiring an attorney and making several trips to Colville. The postal permit change is a little more complicated. We are currently mailing under a commercial permit. To mail with the required periodical permit, The Outpost either needs to be a subscription or a requested publication. I would need to collect about 2,500 requester cards before we could begin the permit approval process.
Whether the Outpost will ever be considered for the county legal newspaper contract or not, we are still working towards the legal newspaper designation and permit change. The funny thing about the Outpost not being a “legal newspaper” is that it is registered with the Library of Congress as a periodical publication.