Dunedin dialing up new phone system
By LEON M. TUCKER
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 8, 2000
DUNEDIN -- If you have been trying to memorize the phone number of a certain department within the city of Dunedin, you can stop trying.
Come Wednesday the city will have in place a new telephone system that officials say will be more cost effective and user friendly.
But there's a drawback.
Most of the phone numbers assigned to various city departments will be changed, which may cause some inconvenience to callers and city employees.
"Every time you get a new system there's a (period when) you're getting the city used to it," said Maureen Freaney, assistant city manager. "But it seems to be going relatively smoothly."
The city has a contract with Verizon, formally GTE, to replace the current system, which has been in place for 10 years.
Buying phones and installing the system will cost $113,000, said Cassandra "Kandee" Valley, city utility billing manager. Servicing the system will cost an estimated $63,000 next year, she said.
"Currently what they were paying was $161,000 a year for maintenance equipment and service -- and the cost for maintenance was escalating because the equipment is so old," Valley said.
Some numbers within the city already have been switched to the new system and include City Hall, the water plant, library, leisure services, community center, nature center and fire administration office.
Meanwhile, callers using old numbers will receive a recorded message stating, "The number you have dialed has been changed." The message will be followed by the new number.
"Probably the biggest thing that will occur is the number change," Valley said. "So we're going to plead with the citizens to be patient with us during this change and that it will be over soon."
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