Senator Ritchie dials in her opinion on call for new Central New York area code

State Senator Pattie Ritchie is asking state regulators to hang up the latest effort to create a new area code for Central and Northern New York. She is calling the current proposals, which include splitting the 315 region into two, or the creation of an â??overlayâ?? code â??ill-timed and possibly unnecessary.â??

The 315 area code covers 18 counties, and officials fear those counties may be running out of numbers.

â??Considering the state of the regionâ??s economy, local businessesâ??still recovering from recessionâ??simply cannot afford the additional cost and potential customer loss from this change, and tens of thousands of consumers, who will be forced to dial 10 or 11 digits to reach a nearby town or even their next-door neighbor, should not face this additional inconvenience,â?? Senator Ritchie said, in a letter she sent to the PSC.

Ritchie also says that there may not be a problem with the area code to begin with, citing population decline and a weak Central New York economy.

It was thought that the 315 numbers would run out by 2015, but Ritchie says that is the fourth time estimated â??exhaust date.â?? The previous three were 2002, 2010 and 2013.