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COLUMBIANA COUNTY COURTHOUSE Antique phone booth will remain a fixture



Published: Sat, May 19, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



A company spokesman said an announcement providing more details will be provided in a few weeks.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

LISBON -- It looks as though an antique wooden phone booth that has been a fixture in a Columbiana County courthouse corridor for decades may be there for a few more.

Ameritech, which said previously it intended to remove the booth, will leave it after all, Commissioner Jim Hoppel said recently.

"The phone booth will stay here," Hoppel said. "The county's going to own it without any cost to the county."

Dave Schuellerman, an Ameritech spokesman, wouldn't confirm Hoppel's assertion that the county will get to keep the phone booth, but he indicated a deal is being developed.

"There's a resolution that's coming. We're working with the commissioners," Schuellerman said. "There should be some resolution announced within a few weeks."

The story so far: In March, Ameritech removed the telephone in the first-floor booth, saying it wasn't producing enough revenue in these days of cell phones and toll-free numbers.

The company also said it would remove the phone booth, unless the county paid $400 for it.

Commissioners refused to pay, saying they couldn't justify such an expense.

They said they were dismayed, however, at the prospect of the booth being taken out because its been there so long and it adds to the historic building's charm.

Courthouse officials have been unable to say conclusively just how long the booth has been on the first floor.

Some courthouse employees discussed taking up a collection to buy the booth, but the effort didn't succeed.

leigh@vindy.com




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