There is no initial fee required to submit a FOIA request, but the FOIA does provide for the charging of certain types of fees in some instances.
For a typical requester the City can charge for the time it takes to search for records and for duplication of those records. There is usually no charge for the first 15 minutes of search time.
You may always include in your request letter a specific statement limiting the amount that you are willing to pay in fees. If an agency estimates that the total fees for processing your request will exceed $25, it will notify you in writing of the estimate and offer you an opportunity to narrow your request in order to reduce the fees. If you agree to pay fees for a records search, you may be required to pay such fees even if the search does not locate any releasable records.