EDITOR'S NOTE: "What We Pay" is the first in a series of stories regarding what Boone County pays vendors for services.
MADISON - Through public records acquisitions, the Coal Valley News has confirmed that Boone County has spent over $86,000 in office phone maintenance for the Boone County Courthouse and the Boone County Courthouse Annex since 2011.
Through the vendor "The Phone Company," which has a business license registered under "Phone Company," the county has paid a quarterly maintenance service agreement fee of up to $2,550 with the vendor billing of $100 per hour for their services.
While the county began doing business with the company in small increments in 2005, it began paying the quarterly fee on Oct. 19, 2013.
Outside of the quarterly charges, the largest check written to the company totaled $16,845.70 on Feb. 4, 2013, which aligns with the timeline of the opening of the then-new annex offices.
The county has paid, in total, $118,437.70 to the Madison-based company since 2005. The company was licensed as a limited liability company in 1999.
Boone County Commissioner Brett Kuhn said that he was aware of the vendor.
"I will say this," he said via telephone. "At this time where we are struggling financially, we have to take a hard look at every vendor and every expenditure that we have."
A representative of a Kanawha County-based company that specializes in IT and phone-based work for small municipalities and county governments spoke about the maintenance agreement on the condition of anonymity.
"Maintenance agreements aren't unheard of in this business and in fact they are pretty common," he said. "Without seeing the scope of the work involved, I will say that I have not seen an agreement of that magnitude. Frequency of service calls would determine a lot of that. We generally bill a flat $50 to $75 per hour without an agreement."
According to documents obtained from the county by the CVN, "The Phone Company" made three service calls in 2016, five service calls in 2017, two service calls in 2018 and one service call through May 3 of 2019.
The company was paid a total of $12,450 in 2016, $10,200 in 2017 and $6,950 in 2018 by Boone County for their services. Including 2019, the company has billed the county for $32,050 since 2016.
Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @philipdperry.