The phones at the Young County Law Enforcement Center will receive a much needed overhaul.

Young County officials voted Monday morning, March 10 to accept a $17,000 contract from AL Telephone for an internal phone system upgrade, a decision that came after Young County IT Director Eric Steadham spent the bulk of last week pricing different systems and analyzing the best service options.

Steadham told the court he spoke with four potential companies during the pricing process, and that in the end, AL made the most sense for several reasons. He said that the biggest factor remained that AL Telephone could repair any unexpected problems with the phone service the fastest since it is a local company.

Other factors in the decision included the ongoing relationship AL Telephone has with Young County, as well as its price. Steadham cited one Dallas based phone company as having high transportation costs, rendering its potential services not feasible.

“We’ve worked with AL for going on two decades, and they are our current contractor for the courthouse,” Steadham said. “Due to the fact that we’ve had a good relationship in terms of getting things fixed in a timely manner, and that he’s local, that means a lot to me. That was a problem we were having with National Telesystems. They were charging an arm and a leg just to come out and fix any problems we would have.”

Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.