Telephone service in the Fish Lake area of Sevier County will transfer from US WEST Communications to South Central Utah Telephone Association, provided the Utah Public Service Commission approves a recommendation by Administrative Law Judge Robert Thurman.

Thurman said he would make that recommendation following a hearing earlier this week. The position has been supported by the Utah Division of Public Utilities.Over the past year, US WEST received numerous complaints from cabin owners and businesses in the Fish Lake area.

Last September, US WEST and South Utah representatives met with the affected property owners and outlined possible solutions for upgraded service. At that time, only five residences, four businesses and one pay telephone were being served by US WEST from its Loa offices.

US WEST estimated a minimum of $170,000 would be needed to upgrade facilities, 40 percent of which would have to come from area customers along with a $45 monthly service charge.

South Central said it could upgrade services for about $125,000.

A survey by South Central found 56 cabin owners willing to subscribe.