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PI commissioners OK new phone service

July 29, 2012
Jordan Travis - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

ROGERS CITY - Presque Isle County's offices could save thousands of dollars per year by switching its phone service and eliminating unnecessary lines.

The county could pay less than half of its current $3,200-per-month phone bill now that commissioners have approved a plan to switch carriers and drop a service contract. They made the decision after hearing the results of an audit of their current phone services at the board of commissioners meeting Friday morning.

Dan Konkel presented the audit, and said he found several instances where the county could save money on a new plan. Some phone lines were not being used, and the county will switch to a different dial tone provider that charges less than its current one.

In a few other cases, the county was being charged sales tax on its newly added phone lines, Konkel said.

"It's a matter of going through the bill with a fine-tooth comb," he said. "That's what I do."

Currently, 10 percent of the county's phone bill is a maintenance agreement for its phone system. Instead of paying a flat rate, Konkel and County Resource Officer Joe Libby proposed switching to an hourly one. The county's phones would be serviced by a technician based in Alpena.

"We could have them out here once a week for an hour, which I understand we've never had with telephone support, and we'd still be money ahead," Libby said.

Another change would be the addition of fax servers, Konkel said. These devices accept faxes and send them as emails to the proper department, giving county employees the choice to print them out or save the paper. It also will mean the county will need less phone lines.

In exchange for the audit and suggestions, Konkel will get half of what the county saves in its first year, he said.

In other business:

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5688.



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