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RB residents concerned about phone coverage

RED BAY – At Monday’s city council meeting, Red Bay Mayor Bobby Forsythe said he had received concerns from citizens about the local calling area for the city.
Forsythe said city officials had been approached by concerned senior citizens who said that as it stands, any calls placed by Red Bay residents to people or businesses in the Shoals area are considered long distance.
Forsythe said these citizens requested the mayor and council to contact AT&T to see if Red Bay’s local coverage area could be expanded to cover Colbert and Lauderdale counties as well.
“We were advised that making long distance calls to Colbert and Lauderdale counties can be a hardship for many of our senior citizens, especially the ones who use doctors in the Shoals area,” Forsythe said.
“If these elderly residents are having health problems and are having to call a doctor’s office three and four times a week, that can get costly when the call is long distance.”
Forsythe said the concern had been brought up by this particular age demographic because many of them do not own cell phones, which would make the long distance calls easier depending on the phone plans they chose.
“I spoke with out AT&T representative, Dave Hargrove, and he informed me that in this day and time, it was very unlikely the company would do anything about increasing the call area but he did say there were some options,” Forsythe said.
“Citizens could get a what he called a wireless home phone that features unlimited local and long-distance calling for less than $20 a month.”
Forsythe said this seemed like a good option, especially for senior citizens who are on a fixed income.
“This seems like a good deal,” Forsythe said. “It is lower than what I currently pay for a land line.”
Forsythe said anyone wanting to find out more about the situation could call AT7T at 1-800-288-2020. Residents call also call Red Bay City Hall at 256-356-4473 for further assistance.
In other business the council addressed the following items:
• Approved the 2011-2012 audit as presented Feb. 22.
• Approved the purchasing of a table for $150 at the Franklin County Partnership Awards Banquet.
• Approved roadblocks for Jordan and Angie Ruple and the Franklin County Shriners.
• Approved school grant expenditures.
• Reminded city residents their free clean-up week would be March 18-22.