Bartholomew County officials are starting the search into the possibility of buying a new telephone system, which they estimate will cost more than $200,000.
The current phone system, in place for about 10 years, is only able to be serviced by a single vendor and parts are getting hard to find, said Jim Hartsook, the county's information technology director. The county has about 344 telephone numbers on five independent phone switches, Hartsook said.
Commissioners and Hartsook agreed to begin putting off repairs on the aging system and setting aside money for a new system — a process that could take two years. They are planning to purchase a system that uses the Internet for switching, rather than the older private branch exchange technology.
Look for more information in Tuesday's Republic.