County gives go-ahead for telephone service in Silverton

By KRISTIN KINNAMON

Herald Writer

SILVERTON – It was hard to spread the good news that phone service to Silverton got one step closer to ringing off the hook.

Beaver Creek Telephone Co. got approval from the Snohomish County Council to put phone lines along the Mountain Loop Highway. There has been no phone service past the Verlot Ranger Station since the days of crank phones and railroads in the 1920s.

Robin Desrosier, a Forest Service employee and part-time resident of Silverton, said she doubted anyone knew of the county’s decision – even phone service proponent Diane Boyd – because there are no phones.

Beaver Creek said in its application to the county that construction would take place this summer and be finished in October. The company will install fiber optic cable lines with funding from the federal Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service Agency. Only residential phone and Internet service, no cable TV service, will be provided, the application said. Beaver Creek, a subsidiary of International Telcom, will own and operate the system.

The company also plans to build new phone lines in the rural King County community of Hobart.

Silverton has about 50 year-round residents and 30 more citizens each summer.

Desrosier said when they need to use a phone, they line up at the pay phone in Verlot or a nearby grocery. Tempers can flare when talkers tie up the lines, she said. She said Beaver Creek hadn’t given residents an estimate of the cost of phone service yet, but promised it would be reasonable.

"I’ve put in for a phone, too," she said.

As it does for all utility providers, Snohomish County waived its usual fees for the use of public right-of-way. Beaver Creek will pay $1,850 for the county’s expenses in granting the utility franchise.

Silverton is located about 20 miles east of Granite Falls.

You can call Herald Writer Kristin Kinnamon at 425-339-3429 or send e-mail to

kinnamon@heraldnet.com.

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