Brasher exploring purchase of laptop computers for town councilmen – WatertownDailyTimes.com






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BRASHER FALLS — Sitting behind a pile of paperwork, Brasher Councilman Francis W. Burns says he thinks it’s time for town officials to move into the computer age and eliminate much of the paper shuffle by obtaining laptop computers for board members.

“I’ve talked to a couple of board members. We talked about the possibility of getting a notebook or small laptop and do away with paperwork. It would make it easier for us follow and track records,” Mr. Burns said during this week’s board meeting.

He said laptops wouldn’t totally eliminate the paperwork, but they would make a big dent in it.

“I think it would make board members a little more efficient,” he said.

Mr. Burns said he believed funds were available for the purchase of laptops for the supervisor and four councilmen.

“I think there are some funds that aren’t being used. We’re looking along the lines of $150 a unit,” he said.

Town Supervisor M. James Dawson, who will be stepping down on Dec. 31, agreed that funds were available.

“It’s a good idea. Just get something you like. We have money for that,” he said.

He tasked Mr. Burns with getting prices and necessary information for potential laptops and bringing it back to the board for their consideration.

During this week’s meeting, Mr. Dawson also reported that he had received notification from Time Warner Cable that their rates would be increasing starting with the next billing cycle.

“I am disappointed to say rates are going up. So, once again, we’re kind of at a loss. Your light bill is starting to look like a bargain,” he said.

Mr. Dawson said he has a meeting scheduled on Dec. 21 with North Country Broadband representatives Jeff Beekhoo and James F. Hidy and St. Lawrence Central School Superintendent Robert A. Stewart to talk about a broadband initiative for the town. North Country Broadband wants to focus on areas where services such as Time Warner aren’t available.

“We’re still working on that,” he said.

However, Mr. Dawson said, he didn’t believe television service that could potentially provide competition for Time Warner would be part of the expansion.

“They were not going to do TV the last I talked to them,” he said.

Board members also accepted bids on a 2015 Highway Department pickup truck damaged in an Oct. 7 two-vehicle accident in Massena. Three bids were received, and the truck was awarded to Rick Seguin of Rick’s Auto Body, who bid $6,300.

Also bidding on the truck were Barry Flynn, with a bid of $5,657.58, and Troy Savage, with a bid of $5,800.

“It will be delivered upon payment,” Mr. Dawson said.

Councilmen had recently agreed to purchase a new pickup truck with a plow to replace the truck that was involved in the accident. They had also agreed to put the damaged truck out for bid with a minimum bid of $5,000 to recoup some of the cost.

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