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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - January 18, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta MOST SOUTH VOTERS ACCEPT Only Magrath rejects telephone flat rate calling By KEN ROBERTS Herald Staff Writer Eight'of nine communities in the Lethbridge area have voted in favor of extended flat rate calling (EFRC), an Alberta Government Telephones' spokesman said Thursday. Barons, Iron Springs, New Dayton, Nobleford, Picture Butte, Raymond, St rling and Wrentham all voted in favor of EFRC. Magrath voted against it. Taking averages of the nine communities - 72 per cent of the people who voted were in favor of EFRC, 28 per cent were against it and 72 per cent of the people polled returned their ballots to AGT. EFRC would end long-distance toll charges between Lethbridge and communities within 30 miles of the city. Even though eight of the nine communities within the 30 miles have voted for EFRC, if Lethbridge residents vote against it EFRC will not be installed, Ron Homulus, planning supervisor for AGT, told The Herald. Whether Lethbridge votes for or against EFRC, Magrath will not have it, he said. Before it can be installed between two centres the majority of phone users in the two centres must vote for it. In the poll some of the communities came out very much in favor of EFRC. Picture Butte was 90 per cent in favor. Iron Springs was 88 per cent and Nobleford was 85 per, cent. , In Magrath, it was defeated by a close ,count. Fifty-one per cent were against it and 49 per cent were for it. Ballots for Lethbridge's 18,300 telephone customers will be mailed today. They must be returned by Feb. 22. If EFRC is approved it will be operational by April 1975, Mr. Homulus said. This amount of time is required to assess the amount of equipment needed, order and receive it and install it. New telephone exchanges would have to be installed in Lethbridge and in each community who would have EFRC. Lethbridge was polled after the nine rural centres because it was necessary to see how many of them were in favor of EFRC, Mr. Homulus said. The more who were in favor of it the greater the increase in Lethbridge telephone rates. If EFRC is accepted by city telephone users it will mean a 42-cent a month increase on individual telephone rates and an 83-cent a month increase on business phone rates. Increases to rural communities are greater, Mr. Homulus. said. They range between $1 and |3. The cost of EFRC is shared equally between the communities and the city but because there are more city telephone users the cost to the rural user is greater. It will be less expensive to call by EFRC than by the present toll rate, Mr. Homulus said. This would be a definite advantage to people who already regularly call between the city and the rural communities. EFRC would also increase the number of callers between the city and communities, he said. When EFRC has been insUUed at places in the past the number of calls has increased 10 times. Previously EFRC has been installed in communities within IS miles of each other such as Lethbridge and Coaldale. The provincial government has recently increased this distance to 30 miles. Mr. Homulus didn't see any advantage of EFRC to city people who did not do business or have friends and relatives in the surrounding communities. With EFRC business between the city and !%:::?ft%:::::::::::S::^ the surrounding communities is likely to increase and this would indirectly benefit the non-callers, he said. It's not like they would be getting nothing. They would have the option to call. One call per month to any of the communities would be all that would be needed to make up for city monthly rate increases, Mr. Homulus said. People in Lethbridge would have the advantage of calling all eight communities but people in the communities could only call Lethbridge. With EFRC communities would not be able to call to other communities. The advantage of EFRC to community callers who have no friends or relatives in the' city is they would be able to call toll free to Lethbridge retail ouUets. Seventy-five per cent of the toll charges from these places now are for Lethbridge," he said. AGT is neither for or against EFRC, Mr. Homulus said. It wants to point out all the good points of EFRC so it can't be criticized for not doing it later. It wants to make sure everyone is aware of what is being offered, he said. Mr. Homulus said it doesn't affect AGT, IF District The LetHlnridge Herald EFRC is accepted or rejected. Financially it would cost AGT $600,000 to install EFRC and 1100,000 a year to maintain EFRC if it is accepted. However, 89 per cent of this would be recovered by the monthly increase in rates, he said. AGT would also lose $160,000 annually, which is not recoverable, in lost toll charges. EFRC is more for the customer than for AGT, Mr. Homulus said. One of AGT's objectives is to provide service and EFRC provides service. Mr. Homulus said optional use of EFRC would be too costly. Optional use means installing toll-free calling only to those users within a town or city who wanted it. The town or city has to be all EFRC. In reply to Aid. Vera Ferguson's claim that EFRC might be voted in by default because those who were against it wouldn't mail their ballots in, Mr. Homulus feels it will be just the opposite. He said people who were against it would be sure to mail their ballots in while those in favor might not. He thinks this might have happened in Magrath where EFRC was defeated by a 2 per cent margin. Local news SECOND SECTION Lethbridge, Alberta, Friday, January 18, 1974 Pages 13-24 Power plant decision Little short on one end Alien Davies, a nine-year-old boxing hopeful, is a living demonstration that if the mountain won't come to Mohammed, Mohammed will come to the mountain. But in Alien's case, there is little else he could do to reach the punching bag, in the basement of the Civic Centre. BILL GROENEN photo U of L senate to decide fate of 2nd honorary degree At least one Southern Albertan is among nominees for a second honorary degree at the University of Lethbridge, The Herald has learned. Final decision on honorary degrees will be made Saturday by the U of L senate. The honorary degrees committee has decided to withhold names in case the senate decides not to bestow a second honorary degree. And if they decide not to award the degree, only one honorary degree will be presented at the spring convocation. The university has already decided to confer a degree on Immanuel Velikovsky, American scientist and author who founded the theory of planetary collision. The senators will also discuss a possible restructuring of the senate to allow it to fully investigate problems confronting the university and matters of specific concern that the community may have about the university. They will examine the possibility of establishing small task forces to study the various concerns. Restructuring of the senate is being considered to enable it to make more comprehensive reports and recommendations to the U of L board of governors and the department of advanced education. In other business, the senate ,will hear a report on the Friends of the University's campaign to raise funds for the establishment of U of L scholarships at high schools in Southern Alberta. Council partially locked in' By ANDY OGLE Herald Staff Writer The average residential consumer would pay roughly $5 to $7 a month more on his electricity bill if the city was to be "master in its own house," a meeting of the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs was told Thursday. Replying to a question on the CH2M - Hill power supply study. Deputy Mayor Vaughan Hembroff threw out that estimate of what it would cost ' each home consumer if the city decided to build a coal-fired power plant to produce all its own power needs. In addition, he said, there would probably be an increase in the property tax rate. The deputy mayor said his figures were taken from the CH2M - Hill report which estimated it would cost the city some $40 million more from 1977 to 1988 to obtain its power supply that way rather than by purchasing it entirely from Calgarjf Power. "Whether the public is will- ing to support that I don't know," he said. The chairman of the city's power study committee said a new plant to produce all the city's power needs would have to be coal-fired because of the Energy Resources Conservation Board's view. "We're quite satisfied we would not get permission to produce all our own needs with a gas plant," he said. If the city did decide on such an option it would probably mean a new powerhouse, not in the river valley, but some place like Diamond City at the mouth of a coal mine, the deputy mayor said. Jl