Officials Applaud Delaying Area Code Change

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They're not necessarily hanging up on the idea, but the state's Public Service Commission is putting on hold a plan to add an area code to northern and central New York.

That's music to the ears of north country elected officials.

"Over the last few months, I've heard from hundreds of my constituents, especially small businesses, who were concerned that potentially they would have to get a new telephone number and it could harm their business," state Sen. Patty Ritchie said.

Assembly member Addie Russell said, "My concern is that the Public Service Commission's projections were once again flawed because they really hadn't taken into account the number of people that move in and out of this area."

And, according to Russell, that means there's a high turnover of phone numbers in the north country. After months of public hearings and analyses, the PSC agreed.

In a statement released Thursday, the commission claimed there will be enough phone numbers in the 315 area code -- which serves all or part of 18 counties -- until 2016.

Ritchie says she's been saying that all along.

"Considering there were hundreds of thousands of numbers that were still available, it didn't look like we were at the point that we needed to make this decision," Ritchie said.

The PSC will revisit the issue in the summer of 2016.

In a statement, Sen. Joe Griffo joined Ritchie and Russell in applauding the PSC for the decision, calling a potential change a safety and security hazard.
Friday, October 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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