Tuesday, December 03, 2013

TOP STORY >> Council switches to tablets

Leader staff writer

Cabot City Council members on Monday night learned how to use the electronic notepads that will replace their paper agendas for monthly meetings.

Eddie Cook, the city’s director of operations, said it will take about two years for the $3,000 price of the Samsung Galaxy notepads to equal the cost of the paper packets, which cost about $15 each. But, since the notepads are expected to last three to five years, they will save the city money in the long run.

Roger Self, the city’s director of information technology, had downloaded all of the information that council members considered during the meeting and talked them through operation of the new equipment.

Alderman Ed Long, who had been using his own notepad during council meetings for several months, assured the others, “It’s not as hard as it looks.”

Included in the downloaded materials was the Second Street corridor plan submitted by the city’s planning commission.

Commission Chairman James Reid told council members that the north end of Second Street should develop because of the north interchange that will be coming soon.

“This corridor will see a lot of traffic as we grow, and it will grow with the north interchange,” Reid said.

That interchange is included in the bonds that are supported by the extension of the one-cent city sales tax approved by voters in April. The city’s part of the $20 million project is $9 million.

Reid also talked about a fourth Cabot interchange in the vicinity of Richie Road and the expansion of Second Street to four lanes. But those projects are likely 20 to 30 years out, he said.

All seven alderman who attended the meeting voted to send the corridor plan to the Dec. 16 council meeting for approval. Alderman Rick Prentice was absent.

The aldermen also looked briefly at a proposed master street plan. Reid presented the plan and requested that it be sent back to the planning commission for public hearings. After the hearings, the plan will go back to the council for adoption.

In other business, the aldermen voted to put the reappointment of lawyer Clint McGue to the Cabot Housing Authority Board on the council agenda.

They also voted to place on the agenda the purchase of a MAKO System Compressor, which filters air and refills the tanks firefighters the tanks used for diving. The system will cost $30,350.