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Glenwood ready to slip the disc

Greg Masse

Soon there will be no more paperwork for Glenwood Springs city clerk Robin Clemons.

Clemons said she’s five to six months off from becoming completely paperless.

“Once we go paperless, it’s just going to be such a simple process,” Clemons said.

She is working on the effort with assistant city clerk Laura Gately and information systems director Bruce Munroe.

The project was financed by a $350,000 state energy impact fund grant secured by Clemons last year. It allowed her to purchase the equipment necessary to convert papers, documents, maps and other pertinent records onto digital form, stored on compact discs.

Although City Council members have been receiving their packets on CDs for three months, the first time Clemons replaced paper for members of the media was for tonight’s City Council meeting.

“We scan the papers, but we can also copy digitally,” Clemons said of the high-tech system. “(Digital documents) is going to be the wave of the future for us.”

Eventually – meaning within the next year or so – Clemons hopes to post each City Council meeting packet on the Internet for all the public to see. Clemons also hopes to eventually install a computer kiosk in the new City Hall so people can come by and peruse the council meeting packets while they visit.

“We’re working on formatting now. That’s why we’re giving (council members) both the discs and the packets now,” Clemons said.

When the project was initiated in 2001, Clemons estimated the city spent about $5,000 per year in paper. But based on the current meeting’s bulk, she figured it was more like $1,700 per meeting. So when that number is multiplied by 24 meetings a year, the cost skyrockets to more than $40,000.

“I had to check my numbers,” she said, not believing her own findings. “We knew we were killing a lot of trees with every packet, but nobody ever sat down and figured it out.”

The computerized paperwork will also make it easier for the audience at City Council meetings to see papers that council members and staffers are seeing, by showing them on a big screen that will roll down behind the council dais.

“They’re coming next week to finish the installation of it all,” Clemons said.


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