AUBURN — Councilors are scheduled to discuss Tuesday replacing  some of the mountains of printed paper and notebooks they go through each year with  iPads.

“(Councilor Mike Farrell) has made mention of it a couple of times, and he thinks there is some efficiency there,” City Manager Glenn Aho said.

The topic is part of their workshop agenda, which is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in Auburn Hall. The workshop will be followed by a regular meeting at 7 p.m.

Farrell could not be reached for comment Monday.

According to city budget documents, general office supply costs for the city manager, the city clerk and the mayor and City Council amount to about $1,050 per year. That pays for day-to-day supplies and printed copies of weekly agendas and information about issues councilors will vote on. It also pays for the notebooks full of printed paper devoted to the annual budget.

Aho said the iPads wouldn’t replace all printing and office supply costs, but they would reduce them. 

“And there would be other efficiencies,” Aho said. “Ideally, it would greatly reduce the amount of time staff spends printing, collating and assembling those documents. And, councilors would have everything there with them — all of their e-mails, all of their attachments and PDFs.”

Aho said the city could purchase four iPads for city councilor use. If the iPads are equipped with 3G networking, it would cost $3,068 for four of the tablet computers with cases and protection plans. If they are purchased without 3G, they would cost the city $2,548.

“Four would be the best place to start, because I know that some of the councilors wouldn’t want one at all. They just don’t care about computers.”

If councilors approve, they would purchase the tablet computers with money from the sale of city properties.

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