A new telephone system estimated to cost around $435,000 will be purchased for the Davis County courthouse and justice complex. After putting the decision off for a week, the Davis County commissioners approved the purchase.

At the recommendation of administrative services director VerNon Griffeth, the commissioners voted to purchase the new system from AT&T. Griffeth said he made the recommendation after consulting with state purchasing and administrative officials.The county replaced its telephone system about four years ago but the equipment manufacturer has since gone out of business. Service on the local level is still available, Griffeth said, but parts are hard to find.

A telephone system has a life expectancy of around five years, Griffeth told the commission, so the system was due for replacement within a year.

With construction of the county's new jail and court complex in west Farmington, the decision became more critical.

The commissioners had to decide on a system for that complex, in addition to a new system for the existing courthouse in downtown Farmington. And, the two systems have to be compatible, Griffeth said.

The commissioners initially balked at the cost, which Griffeth initially estimated at around $450,000 for the two systems, including installation.

There is $85,000 in the jail construction budget for telephones. A first estimate of $100,000 for wiring the new complex has been reduced to around $75,000, according to Griffeth, which is probably what the budget was set up to include.