Supervisors approve proposal for phones service

The Webster County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal for telephone services during its regular meeting Tuesday.

Andy McGill, data processing manager for Webster County, presented two proposals from Frontier and NetINS to the board. Each proposal includes two voice and one fax circuit, 150 phone number extensions, 5,000 long distance minutes, a 100 megabyte symmetrical connection between the Webster County Courthouse and Northwest Bank Building and a 50 megabyte Internet connection and three analog lines for Webster County Conservation. A 60-month contract with Frontier is $3,261.33 per month, and a 60-month contract with NetINS is $2,315 per month. A second option from NetINS, which also includes 46 voice-session lines and a SIP connection is $2,047 per month.

“Basically the third option offers all of the same features, but can have lines added for $12 a month,” said McGill. “There is a possibility the court administration and DHS could go on this system and we need to make sure we have something we can expand.”

Several local representatives from Frontier were in attendance at the meeting to encourage the board to select that company’s product, which comes with localized service from the Fort Dodge office.

“We are two blocks away,” said Tony Recker with Frontier Communications. “I can be there at the drop of a hat. You can pay the lesser amount, but most of the time that local service isn’t going to be there. We are willing to work with you guys.”

Supervisor Merrill Leffler said that the decision would be based upon cost savings.

“We appreciate everyone from Frontier being here,” said Leffler. “But the cost difference over five years is almost $73,000.”

“This is not a service issue,” said Supervisor Mark Campbell. “Your do have outstanding service.”

The board approved the second option from NetINS at $2,047 per month for 60 months.

The board also discussed the process of appointing a new county attorney following the resignation of Webster County Attorney Ricki Osborn effective May 31.

Board Chairman Bob Singer said the board intends to fill the vacancy by appointment, but that Webster County voters have the option of petitioning a special election. A hearing to appoint a new attorney will be held at 10:30 a.m. June 4. Those interested in being appointed county attorney must be a Webster County resident and a practitioner of law in the state of Iowa and must submit a resume and application by 10 a.m. May 24.