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Cottage Grove council rejects city iPad purchases

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government Cottage Grove, 55016
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

A divided Cottage Grove City Council rejected a staff recommendation to purchase iPad2 computer tablets for use by council and commission members at City Hall.

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The city wants to save money by not printing paper copies of meeting documents, which can reach hundreds of pages per council member for a routine meeting. City staff had proposed purchasing nine Apple iPad2 devices for a total of $5,433, or roughly $600 apiece. The device would allow council members to view documents and take notes digitally.

Finance Director Robin Roland said the iPad2 was recommended after examining a variety of options. The device has a long battery life and is virtually invulnerable to hackers and viruses, she said. It would be used in the current council chambers and after the planned move to a new city government building.

But council members told staff to look for a more affordable device after voting down the plan 3-2 on Wednesday. Derrick Lehrke, Justin Olsen and Dave Thiede opposed it while Jen Peterson and Mayor Myron Bailey backed the recommendation.

"I think we can do it for cheaper than $600," Lehrke said.

Olsen said the iPad2 is a good device but wanted more research, including into whether the city could secure laptops at a discounted rate.

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SWC Bulletin 651-459-9491 customer support
Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.
(651) 459-7600
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