Nobody’s dialing for dollars in Oak Harbor
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
August 21, 2012 · Updated 3:05 PM
Nobody at Oak Harbor City Hall is making $1,100 a month worth of 1-800 calls.
During a meeting earlier this month, several members of the Oak Harbor City Council went over vouchers and questioned a giant bill associated with the phone number 240-2350.
Finance Director Doug Merriman said he also noticed it and called the number, but nobody answered.
Since then, Merriman investigated the mystery and discovered a rather innocuous answer. It turns out that it’s a main switchboard line and many phones in City Hall and public works are billed to that one line.
He describes it as a “computer line” off the trunk line and is for billing purposes. No computer or human can answer it.
Merriman said the city went to “voice over internet protocol,” or VOIP, phone systems a couple of years ago, as a cost saving measure. The city has about 200 phones.
In all, the city’s phone bill was $3,687 in July.
Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at email@example.com or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.