Chandler wants to spend $105,000 on 20 laptop computers, but at least one city councilman appears skeptical about the purchase.
“For that price, you could almost buy three and buy a new one each year,” Councilman Jeff Weninger said.
City staff will ask the council on Thursday to approve the purchase of 20 “ruggidized” laptops, 11 of which will replace current computers that are three years old, to be used by the utilities department.
The ruggidized computers are beefed-up to withstand outdoor use and include gelmounted hard drives, magnesium alloy cases and a touchdisplay screen that’s readable outdoors.
“They’re supposed to be more durable, I get that,” Weninger said. “I understand if they’re in the field . . . but the $5,200 for a laptop, I can’t imagine that.”
City computers are typically replaced every three years. The city currently has 50 ruggidized laptops.
Weninger said Tuesday he’s found the same computers online for about $3,800, though he didn’t know what, besides the computer, was included in that price.
“If there’s still a significant price difference (Thursday), you bet I’m going to bring it up,” he said.
The computers are typically used by city staff who visit construction sites and use the machines outdoors, city staff said.
This isn’t the first time Weninger has questioned city spending since taking office in June. He voted against a $100,000 garbage study that will tell the city what residents are throwing away and how much.
At the time, Weninger questioned whether the study could be handled internally, instead of hiring an outside consultant.
The council will vote on the computer purchase at its regular meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Downtown Chandler Public Library, 22 S. Delaware St.