Parkersburg City Council to receive tablets

PARKERSBURG – City council members soon will be turning to their computer tablets for meeting agendas and information packets.

The city bought tablets for all nine members after councilmen suggested and approved the purchase last year, Mayor Bob Newell said.

Out-going council member Brad Kimes suggested the electronic devices in December to save on paper costs and to bring the council up to speed with current technology. Up to $3,000 for purchase of the tablets was unanimously approved Dec. 18 at the previous council’s last meeting.

City Clerk Connie Shaffer polled current council members before placing an order and all nine said they wanted the tablets, Newell said.

The city purchased nine Lenovo tablets, including covers, for $2,651, Finance Director Angie Smith said on Tuesday.

The tablets will not replace all paper copies of documents, but members likely will be sent electronic copies of agendas and accompanying information packets rather than hard copies, Newell said.

“That is probably going to be the biggest document they receive in electronic form,” he said. “They also asked for the budget to be loaded onto it.

“They will still have paper copies available if needed,” he said. “Like with the budget, I have to have a paper copy because I mark mine up a good bit.”

Shaffer doesn’t believe the tablets will require other technology upgrades for council chambers. The city building has a wireless Internet booster which officials believe will provide wifi in council chambers.

The existing sound system, which has experienced issues in the past, likely will remain, as many of the problems were due to how the equipment was being used rather than its condition, Shaffer said.

“That system really isn’t very old. It was the way we were using it,” she said. “I don’t expect any updates on the sound system.”