The choice was eight expensive pieces of equipment or two that would do the same job while providing more backup and cooperation.
The Warren County Commissioners on Wednesday approved a motion to join a multi-county effort to buy telecommunications equipment.
The old equipment isn't very old - five to six years - and is in good working order, according to the commissioners.
"It's just fine," Commissioner John Eggleston said. "The vendors won't support it."
Commissioner John Bortz said even when the equipment is good and the vendor is still providing support, state and federal regulations can mandate swapping out working equipment.
"You end up replacing expensive equipment with even more expensive equipment," Eggleston said.
In this case, the expensive equipment is called a switching system. The county could buy one for about $100,000, Eggleston said. Or it could join with eight other counties in the purchase of two that will satisfy the needs of the whole region.
A little over $200,000 split eight ways sounded better to the commissioners.
Also, "the system as proposed might actually work better," Bortz said.
Thanks to fiber optic connections between courthouses, the counties will be able to "back each other up" in emergencies, Eggleston said.
"This was used as a model for the rest of the state," Commissioner Chairman Stephen Vanco said. "We're ahead of the curve."
"It's a nice place to be," Bortz said.
Calls to 911 in Warren County will continue to be handled at the 911 Center in Youngsville. "We're not moving our call center," Eggleston said. "This has to do with how our lines are routed."
And saving close to $75,000.
With the state's budget deadline looming, the commissioners are wondering how human services funding will look.
The commissioners favor a proposal to handle human services allocations through block grants, giving counties more local control.
"The three of us agree that the block grant is a good idea depending on the leeway they give us," Vanco said.
The trade-off for the state is allowing the counties to make more decisions, but giving them less money to run on.
"Originally, they were talking 20 percent," Bortz said. "At 20 percent, you're cutting into the bone."
The commissioners are hoping for something more like a five percent reduction. "At five percent, maybe you can find some efficiencies," Bortz said.
The county's workforce investment board, as a representative of the Regional Center for Workforce Excellence, has simplified the way it will go about its work.
"We had a two-vendor provider system," Bortz said. "The decision was made to go with a single provider - Venango Training Development Corp. This should provide some efficiencies."
Bortz said he expects the change will result in services, including on the job training, being provided more efficiently and "hopefully provide some better job opportunities in Warren County and throughout the region."