Hamburg — Hamburg’s Borough Council unanimously voted for a complete overhaul of its phone system at a cost of more than $63,000.
“We’re getting rid of the tin cans,” Councilman Rich Krasnomowitz said at Monday's Borough Council meeting.
The new system, provided through Century Link, will cost $380 per month with a $160 one-time service fee, which is a substantial savings as the current monthly phone bills are “over $2,000,” according to borough Chief Financial Officer Amy Maronpot.
A problem arises because of the borough’s outdated technology, said Hardyston systems manager Jeff Stabile, who oversaw the project’s design as a shared service between municipalities.
New cables will need to be run to connect Borough Hall, the fire department, police department, court, and DPW building. The new hardware plus engineering, configuration and installation will cost the borough more than $63,000 to get up to date. The system will be leased over a five-year period at a cost of $1,133 per month, in addition to the $380 monthly fee.
“I’ve always tried to produce cost savings while forward looking to future technology," Stabile said.
He suggested once this lease is complete, the borough look to put a line item for telecommunications into its budget to avoid the heavy expense of replacing everything at once.
In addition to cost savings, the new plan will roll the bill for each borough building into one monthly bill, which will streamline the payment process.
After some concern from the council about the possibility of calls dropping, Stabile said “somebody, somewhere has to really take down a telephone pole” for the system to drop.
All of the main borough telephone numbers will remain the same after the update, Stabile added, and his goal is to “have it live by Nov. 1.”