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|Paynesville Press - July 23, 2003|
Albany voters reject phone merger with St. Martin
Telephone customers in the St. Martin (548) exchange voted in favor of an extended telephone service area based being in the Albany School District, but telephone customers in the Albany (845) exchange voted against it.|
Minnesota law requires that both exchanges favor expanding a service area. Therefore, this extended service area - which would have permitted local calling, instead of long distance, between the St. Martin and Albany telephone exchanges - failed.
Voting was held this spring from May 7 to June 16.
Telephone customers in St. Martin approved the measure by 162 votes (65 percent) to 87 votes (35 percent). Just over 51 percent of the eligible customers in St. Martin returned their ballots to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.
Telephone customers in Albany rejected the measure by 1,038 votes (77 percent) to 308 (23 percent). Just over 51 percent of the eligible customers in Albany returned their ballots.
The two exchanges had a total of 470 votes for the calling-area merger and 1,125 votes against it.
Rates for residences would have increased by $2.20 per month if the extended service area had passed. Rates for businesses in Albany would have increased by $3.33 per month if the telephone customers had approved local calls between the two exchanges.
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