Chesterton Tribune

Oops: Phone company drops Town of Burns Harbor from government listings

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By PAULENE POPARAD

Welcome to the New Frontier, but not apparently for the Town of Burns Harbor.

It has been dropped from the Government Offices/City listing of the November 2010-2011 Frontier telephone book.

You'll find Chesterton and Porter in the Government pages at the front of the phone book, but the third leg of the tri-town is missing.

Burns Harbor resident Anne Koehler noticed the omission. "I called (Frontier) and told them they left out Burns Harbor and we're not some dinky little community. What were they thinking? Burns Harbor is not the smallest place.”

Added Koehler, “There’s Beverly Shores and Dune Acres and two whole columns for Gary city listings.” Township government also is included in the City category.

The Government pages give individual non-emergency telephone numbers for municipal departments and offices like the Clerk-treasurer, Police, Fire, Street, Sewer and Building departments; Chesterton has nine listings and Porter has five.

Earlier this year Frontier Communications took over service in what previously was Verizon territory.

Matt Kelley, Frontier manager of media relations for the Midwest Region speaking from Fort Wayne, said a preliminary investigation shows “in the old Verizon days there was an order to remove the Burns Harbor listing from the government pages.”

That's news to town Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan. “I don't believe anyone at the town did that. I didn't personally call them and say we're not a government.”

Here's where the mystery deepens.

Jordan said in May the town changed all its single phone lines to one, 23-line bundled phone system that allows departments to handle more calls in more ways including voicemail. In August, Burns Harbor started paying Frontier for phone service.

But the new bills give the town only about two weeks to pay the balance due when government accounts are given more time because the municipal claims process takes longer.

Kelley said Burns Harbor's service was switched from a government to a business account, but no one is exactly sure why. Jordan said she's already contacted a Frontier account representative in hopes of restoring the town's government-account status.

Kelley said a local Frontier representative will follow-up with Jordan as well to discuss the Government pages omission.

Kelley said Frontier is looking into what happened and what can be done about it. "We're not able to print all brand new phone books; that would just not be feasible." Staff is talking about options, like possibly mailing Burns Harbor residents stickers with the town phone listings.

In the meantime, Kelley said www.Superpages.com

 has the individual town department phone numbers and maps where each is located. Also, callers may phone 411 directory assistance to find the numbers.

The small Portage/Valparaiso 2010-2011 yellowbook directory has a detailed list of department phone numbers for Burns Harbor and other area towns in its City, County and State Offices section.

BURNS HARBOR LISTINGS

All emergency calls: 911 or 787-9411

Building Department: 787-8367

Clerk's Office: 787-9413

Non-emergency

Fire Department: 787-8591

Park arts and crafts building: 787-8126

Non-emergency

Police Department: 787-9412

Street/Sanitation Department: 787-9187

 

 

Posted 11/22/2010