Town with 25K People Trading in Massive Paper Agendas for iPads

Here’s a story about a town government making some interesting decisions gadget-wise and waste-wise: Cornelius, North Carolina.

Town Turns to iPads in Cost-Cutting Move (New York Times)

The town commissioners meeting agenda package is generally about 200 pages pages. Twenty copies of the agenda is made each time one is produced. The town government plans to buy 16 16GB WiFi-only iPads (based on the $500 per unit price noted in the article) to reduce the number of printed agendas for each meeting. The town government expects to recover the cost of the iPad in about 1.5 years.

There’s a bit more to using an iPad than just having the device, of course. Software (apps), Apple Care (extended warranty) and WiFi (or 3G-to-WiFi tethering) network connectivity involve additional costs. Still, it sounds like the town official have thought this through and are on their way to an iPad-ized government.