Telephone changes approved

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lawrence County Commissioners Thursday approved a plan to change the telephone system at two county buildings in hopes of saving money.

The Dennis J. Boll Group and Shelter Home will get a new S.T.I., Inc., telephone system similar to the one that handles calls for the courthouse and the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.

Lawrence County 911/Emergency Management Agency will be linked to the courthouse. Lawrence County Commission Administrator Tami Meade said the county shells out about $1,800 monthly for service to roughly a dozen telephones at the group home and a half a dozen at the Park Avenue building—$600 more than what the county pays monthly for service to the courthouse and sheriff’s office. By switching to the new system, she said she hopes to cut that cost in half.

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The commission also heard a report Thursday from Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Boster on the storm damage on the eastern end of the county earlier this week.

“The eastern part of Union and the extreme western part of Rome sustained the brunt of it all,” Boster said. “There was a lot of wind damage. It seemed to be concentrated in the area around the fairgrounds. One residential structure was a major loss. The (Fairland) middle school lost a roof and the shower and bath house at the fairgrounds lost part of a roof. … There were numerous reports of minor damage, such as siding and gutters. We quit counting at 20-some. I’m thankful it didn’t happen a week earlier or we might have had a ferris wheel on its side.”

Boster said the 911dispatch center received 500 telephone calls about storm damage.

Many of the calls came from cellular phones because many customers in that area lost utility service as a result of the storm.