published Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

Kimball gets new phone system after lightning strike

KIMBALL, Tenn. — City leaders have chosen a new phone system for their municipal buildings after a lightning strike caused more than $25,000 in damage to the existing one in April.

The Kimball Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously recently to accept a three-year contract with Peace Communications in Chattanooga, which offers an Internet-based phone system.

The initial setup fee is $1,742, Mayor David Jackson said.

Kimball had been using another provider, he said, but that company wanted $3,600 to reinstall the phone system and planned to use some of the city's old equipment in doing so.

"That's what jumped out at me," City Attorney Billy Gouger said.

The Peace Communications contract includes all new equipment, he said.

Gouger said a maintenance plan is included in the monthly bill for Peace Communication's service.

"All the more better," Vice Mayor Rex Pesnell said.

With Peace Communications, Kimball's monthly bill will be $742, which will be a savings of nearly $200 over its current bill.

"It will cover everything, and I think we ought to give it a try," Jackson said. "It's a more sophisticated system."

Officials said the Internet-based system includes many more features than city workers have access to right now.

"There were so many bells and whistles that it kind of blew my mind," City Recorder Tonia May said.

The board also approved the installation of new fiber-optic cable between City Hall and the police station and several new computers and monitors totaling $3,714.

Officials said those items were damaged by the lightning strike, too, and were covered by the town's insurance.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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