Public input convinced Lewiston City Council to keep Inland Cellular provider

LEWISTON, ID - It was a packed house at Monday's city council meeting with a majority of people there to show their support for a local business.

The city has been considering switching carriers to Verizon Wireless, which would be more than 100-cell phones.

One topic of discussion for both council members and citizens who spoke during the public comment period was whether it was worth it to abandon a local business to use an outside provider?

Inland Cellular representatives and community members told the council members 'no.'

"We would like to get on record that we are very disappointed in the professionalism in the city staff and how the work session went down," said Inland Cellular Business Strategies Director Chip Damato. "There's a lot of other ways to handle that situation that is not down grading or tearing apart a local business."

"When non-profits ask for support, when events ask for support, it is not the Applebee's of the world, it's the Happy Days, it is Ford Motor Company, it's Joe Hall," said LCSC Athletic Director Gary Picone. "And it isn't Verizon, it's Inland Cellular. Thank you."

The council unanimously rejected the proposal Monday night, and will add it to a work session for discussion at a later date. Inland Cellular employs more than 50 people.