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Johnson, Melvin J. / History and my memories of Wind Lake Telephone Company

Reflections of Melvin Johnson,   pp. 58-80 ff. PDF (11.0 MB)

Page 78

Milwaukee they were under Bell.
In Milwaukee they had free toll just like we have here between
ourself and our exchange and they had all the services that they
wanted in Milwaukee. When they got out here they had to pay rental
to the telephone, but they had to pay toll to get into Milwaukee.
I got on the Board about 1944 when Hulbert asked me if I would come
on the board.   I was at that time Supervisor on the Town Board and
I was wanted by the Judge of the Circuit Court as Commissioner for
the Norway Drainage District. I accepted and worked with Hulbert
on the Telephone Company.
Friends of mine would say Melvin what are you doing to us. I said
this is policy.   I said we have cable toll into Milwaukee.     The
Public Service Commission has this set up, we can do nothing
The complaints happened so often and so fast that I asked one day
if they would come over to a meeting at Amann's Tavern. We had a
meeting over there and we just couldn't settle anything.    Then we
had many public hearings.
The Public Service Commission ruled and Jackson said, Mel you go
back home and ask the girls in the office to count all the tickets
in Wind Lake with exchange 895.     See how many of them go into
Milwaukee and how many calls per month each one is using. Do the
same thing for Waterford exchange 534.     Well they had done this
service, the Public Service Commission said we had 8.9 calls per
month per subscriber of the 895 going to Milwaukee.     534 at that
time had only 2.9 calls going into Milwaukee.         This was not
sufficient to give them free toll to go into Milwaukee because we
would be penalizing too many people to have to take care of the
full load. So the rate was $10.40.
Well you can imagine the people that were in that area and wanted
to use the calls would spend 2 or 3 hours a day just talking to
family members, relatives or do business whatever they wanted to
all at no cost and just pay their $10.40 per month. But the other
fellows that had no reason to call Milwaukee, had no business to
take care of in Milwaukee, they still had to pay the $10.40.     It
wasn't fair. But you can't break this apart. It's pretty hard to
do it and so it stayed that way.
Well that went on until about four years ago I guess.        We had
people petition a hearing to be held in Waterford. So we had a day
and a night hearing in Waterford and a day and a night hearing in
Wind Lake and it was mobbed by people.
Well the end results of the hearing was that the Public Service
Commission says we will continue to make a study of this, but at
the present time we'll leave it as is until they can see how it

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