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Riverhead Town Board meetings are now paperless

Riverhead Town paperless

In an effort to save paper and money on printing costs, Riverhead Town Board members are now using laptops to review agendas and resolutions.

During last Thursday’s work session, each board member, along with Town Clerk Diane Wilhelm, received a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 computer, which also functions as a tablet and features a touchscreen and detachable keyboard.

Going paperless was discussed in December. At the time, Supervisor Sean Walter described the change as a cost-savings measure.

In an interview last week, town finance administrator Bill Rothaar said Town Board members each receive close to 500 sheets of paper per meeting, most of which comprise resolutions.

“Just the fact that you’re taking a ream of paper for each board member and then throwing it out is wasteful,” he said.

Mr. Rothaar added that the town opted for the Surface Pro 3 model unveiled in 2014. Each laptop costs around $560 and was paid for through the town’s information technology equipment fund, he said. The newest model, the Pro 4, costs around $800, according to Microsoft’s website.

The town also spent $60 for insurance policies on each computer and plans to order protective cases, Mr. Rothaar added.

Town Board members are allowed to take the computers home, he said. Anything they were able to access on the computers at Town Hall can also be accessed on their new laptops.

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Photo: Riverhead Town town finance administrator Bill Rothaar, standing, and Supervisor Sean Walter, right, help Councilman John Dunleavy with his new computer at Thursday’s work session. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)