Telecommunications system continues to operate in the red; commissioners debate status

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By Alice Du Pont

"I've been hearing this hype and hoopla for the past six years and nothing has changed," said Quincy City Commissioner Finley Cook about the city's telecommunications department during Tuesday night's regular commission meeting. A financial report showed that the city, which serves 338 customers, is losing about $5,000 per month.

"We have a system is not working. We need a plan to stop spending the citizens’ money on telecommunications. We have to reduce the expenditures of this city," Cook said.

He said he had been assured that revenues were coming in but that the revenues were not coming in. He said $76,000 was coming in after having spent $189,000, for a loss of $113,000.

"That's why," Cook said. "We're continuing in the red."

Cook also called for the phone system to be shut down because it, too, is costing the city approximately $22,000 per month.

But City Manager Jack McLean stood behind what he told commissioners last year during budget discussions.

"It will have to be a phased-in plan to shut it down, not an abrupt plan," he said. He maintained however, that Netquincy will ultimately have to stand on its on or be phased out as well.