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Taxpayers To Save Nearly $700K With Phone Switch

Taxpayers will save an estimated $667,000 over the next 10 years through a major expansion of Internet-based telephone service within York County government.

York County Commissioners Steve Chronister, Doug Hoke and Chris Reilly today unanimously approved the County Sealexpansion of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service.

Under the plan, approximately 1,500 telephones will be transitioned off traditional landline service onto VoIP. There should be no impact to individuals calling the County.

The County as approved by the Commissioners today will invest about $1.4 million to purchase new handsets, computer servers, software, and complete other enhancements necessary for the upgrade. The County expects to invest about $105,000 more to install wiring and backup power supplies in certain offices.

Once the work is complete, taxpayers will benefit from approximately $185,000 to $190,000 in lower annual telephone costs. Those savings will help pay for the initial investment and ultimately generate a net projected savings over the next 10 years of $667,000, with annual savings expected to continue afterward.

The County currently pays approximately $336,000 annually for landline service to the affected telephone lines. The annual service costs for VoIP are projected at approximately $146,000-$151,000.

“This change continues our efforts to leverage technology to modernize the way County Government does business,” said President Commissioner Steve Chronister. “It positions taxpayers to save money long into the future while maintaining the high level of service our community expects.”

The transition approved today culminates several years of work and should be complete by the end of 2015. The existing telephone system is at the end of its useful life and no longer supported by its vendor.

The County currently uses VoIP at the Department of Emergency Services and in several pilot offices in the Hanover area. The expansion will affect all other County facilities except certain landlines operated by organizations leasing space from the County.

Additionally, some landlines will be maintained for fax machines, alarm systems and other necessary uses.

The initial $1.4 million investment will be financed through a five-year, no-interest loan. The $105,000 for cabling and backup power supplies will be supported through the use of contingency funds.

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