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St. Joseph council members to use iPads instead of paper packets for meetings

The central Minnesota community joins other cities in eschewing the paper packets of background material needed for meeting preparations. They say the cost of iPads is less than copying costs.

The City Council in St. Joseph, in central Minnesota, is going electronic.

The council members voted to buy iPads for themselves, so they can read their get their research material by email, rather than the bulky paper packets they’ve been receiving, the St. Cloud Times reports.

The plan is to buy seven iPads: one for the mayor, four for council members and two for staff. The cost of $2,700 will be less than the $3,500 to $4,000 the city spends on copying and staff time for paper packets, the paper said. And, the story said:

As city property, information created, received, stored and sent on the iPads is subject to the Minnesota Data Practices Act, a law that provides for public access to information.

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The city adopted an iPad use policy identical to one in Sauk Rapids and Sartell, which also have paperless councils. And the St. Cloud City Council uses an electronic packet for its boards and commissions, the story said.