By REBECCA PALMER
NORTH SALT LAKE — City councilmembers here could soon abandon the piles of paper documents they read each week in exchange for shiny new iPads.
The council will discuss the issue and could vote on it during the Sept. 4 meeting, which starts at 7 p.m. at city hall, 10. E Center Street.
In addition to improving the city’s “sustainability” by reducing paper usage, the change would be a significant cost savings because it would decrease expenses for copying, distribution and storage, according to a city staff report.
The proposed change would also mean that councilmembers could receive city-related emails instantly on their devices.
Furthermore, councilmembers could use the “Apple TV” feature on the devices to share information on large displays, according to the report.
The bulk of the savings would come in regard to Council Packets, which include all the staff reports, development plans, proposed ordinance changes and budget items council members must review before making decisions. They often exceed 100 pages.
Without the iPads, North Salt Lake staffers estimate that the city will spend about $2,400 in 2012 on the packets alone.
The cost to change to iPads would initially be about $5,000, including accessories. If the city council decides to make the change, the mayor, each of the five council members and an administration staffer would get one.
The city would own the iPads, but councilmembers would have the chance to purchase them at an amortized rate at the end of their terms of service.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the council will also consider a proposal t that delineates the acceptable use of the iPads. That policy would prevent councilmembers from texting or e-mailing during council meetings, and it would make all activities performed on the devices subject to state open records law.
If North Salt Lake decides to make the switch, it would follow in the footsteps of several other Utah cities such as South Salt Lake, Alpine, Vineyard, Park City, and Brian Head.