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Phoenix could buy more smartphones for workers

PHOENIX — You could soon see more city of Phoenix employees using smartphones in the field.

The city’s Planning and Development Department is asking the city council to approve $24,000 to buy phones for about 100 inspectors.

Data plans would cost the city an estimated $2,400 per month.

During a three-month pilot program, 13 inspectors tested smartphones at job sites. Among other things, they used a customized web application to allow data entry to the department’s system.

According to a department report sent to the city council, the pilot program received positive feedback from employees and the development community.

The report said the faster service and better communication will offset the costs and help the department perform at least 30 more inspections per day. Currently, the department handles about 700 constructions inspections per day.