City Council considers green and money saving initiatives

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham City Council may soon go green and transition to using tablets for information, documents and council packets. The City Council addressed the idea in budgeting discussions during a Sept. 8 work session.

“Most of the larger cities have already migrated away from stacks of paper,” Pelham City Council President Rick Hayes said during a Sept. 9 phone interview. “This would be smarter, better, it’s a green initiative and it’s more cost effective.”

Although there would be an upfront cost for the purchase of tablets, Hayes said analysis of spending revealed the city could save $4,000 in the first year alone by eliminating the cost of copying, printing and purchasing printing supplies.

Use of tablets would also improve communication and information sharing between members of the city council, even during meetings, Hayes said.

“I can simply hit send and everyone… will have it at their fingertips immediately,” Hayes said, noting the use of tablets is part of the City Council’s work to “figure out the best possible way to optimize our practices.”

Purchasing the tablets would be “just a council initiative,” as department heads already have laptops, Hayes said.

Pelham Mayor Gary Waters also suggested the City Council consider a change to LED lighting along streets.

“If we convert (select lights) to LED, we save $20,000,” Mayor Waters said during the Sept. 8 work session.

“I’m glad it came up,” Hayes said of the use of LED lighting, noting LED lighting is “very expensive on the front end,” but can be very cost efficient in the long term.

Although the transition to LED lighting may not take place in this budget cycle, Hayes said the City Council will look into the project and analyze cost and benefit data.

“It’s an idea… a whole set of analysis has to be done,” Hayes said. “We’re looking to convert to LED lighting where appropriate.”