Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version

******************************************************** 
                      NOTICE
********************************************************

This document was converted from Microsoft Word.

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.

*****************************************************************



                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                )
                                )
St. Louis Mobile Systems Inc.   )    File No. EB-02-KC-0549
                                )    NAL/Acct. No. 200232560023
Owner of  Unregistered Antenna Structure Located  )    FRN  0005-
9463-55
at 38 17' 31'' North Latitude and  91 41' 50''  )
West Longitude, near Belle, Missouri )  
                                )
Rolla, Missouri                 )

                        FORFEITURE ORDER 

Adopted: June 25, 2003             Released:  June 27, 2003

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                      I.       INTRODUCTION

1.        In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
  monetary forfeiture  in the  amount of  three thousand  dollars 
  ($3,000)  to  St.  Louis  Mobile  Systems  Inc.  (``St.   Louis 
  Mobile''), owner of an antenna structure located at  geographic 
  coordinates 38 17' 31'' North Latitude and  91 41' 50''  West 
  Longitude,  near Belle,  Missouri,  for repeated  violation  of 
  Section 17.4(a)  of the Commission's  Rules (``Rules'').1   The 
  noted  violation  involves   St.  Louis  Mobile's  failure   to 
  register its Belle antenna structure.

2.        On August  20,  2002,  the  Commission's  Kansas  City, 
  Missouri Field Office (``Kansas City Office'') issued a  Notice 
  of Apparent  Liability for  Forfeiture (``NAL'')  to St.  Louis 
  Mobile  for  a  forfeiture in  the  amount  of  three  thousand 
  dollars ($3,000).2   St. Louis Mobile filed  a response to  the 
  NAL on September 20, 2002.

                      II.       BACKGROUND

3.        On June 18, 2002, an agent from the Kansas City  Office 
  inspected  an   antenna  structure   located  at   geographical 
  coordinates 38 17' 31''  North Latitude and 91 41' 50''  West 
  Longitude,  near Belle,  Missouri.  The  antenna structure  was 
  approximately  385 feet  in height.   The agent  observed  that 
  there was  no Antenna Structure  Registration (``ASR'')  number 
  posted  on   or  near   the  antenna   structure.   The   agent 
  subsequently  searched   the  Commission's  ASR  database   and 
  determined that  there was no  antenna structure registered  at 
  these geographic  coordinates.  Further investigation  revealed 
  that  the owner of  the Belle  tower is St.  Louis Mobile.   On 
  July 16, 2002, the agent spoke with the president of St.  Louis 
  Mobile, William  G. Bowles, Jr., who  confirmed that the  Belle 
  tower is not registered.

4.        On August 20,  2002, the Kansas  City Office issued  an 
  NAL for a $3,000 forfeiture to St. Louis Mobile for failure  to 
  register its  Belle antenna structure  in willful and  repeated 
  violation of Section 17.4(a) of the Rules.  In its response  to 
  the  NAL,  St.  Louis  Mobile  requests  cancellation  of   the 
  proposed  forfeiture.   St.  Louis  Mobile  asserts  that   the 
  forfeiture  should be  cancelled  because it  made  good  faith 
  efforts to  register the structure by  filing a paper FCC  Form 
  854 in 1996 and  by filing electronically a couple of times  in 
  1999.   St.  Louis  Mobile  asserts  that  these  attempts   to 
  register the  Belle tower were  unsuccessful either because  it 
  was unable to provide  certain information that was not in  its 
  possession or  because the 1981 FAA  study for the Belle  tower 
  was not in  the Commission's database.3  St. Louis Mobile  also 
  asserts that  at no time was  the Belle tower  a hazard to  air 
  navigation.   Finally,  St. Louis  Mobile  claims  that  it  is 
  unable  to pay  the  proposed $3,000  forfeiture  and  provides 
  balance  sheets for  1999, 2000  and 2001  in support  of  this 
  claim.

                      III.      DISCUSSION

5.        The forfeiture  amount in  this  case was  assessed  in 
  accordance with  Section 503(b)  of the  Communications Act  of 
  1934, as amended,  (``Act''),4 Section 1.80 of the Rules,5  and 
  The Commission's Forfeiture  Policy Statement and Amendment  of 
  Section  1.80  of  the  Rules  to  Incorporate  the  Forfeiture 
  Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC  Rcd 
  303  (1999) (``Policy  Statement'').   In examining  St.  Louis 
  Mobile's response, Section 503(b) of the Act requires that  the 
  Commission take into account the nature, circumstances,  extent 
  and  gravity  of  the  violation  and,  with  respect  to   the 
  violator,  the degree  of  culpability, any  history  of  prior 
  offenses, ability  to pay,  and other such  matters as  justice 
  may require.6

6.        Section 17.4(a) of the  Rules provides that,  effective 
  July 1,  1996, the owner  of any proposed  or existing  antenna 
  structure that requires  notification to the FAA must  register 
  the structure with  the Commission.7  The Belle tower  required 
  FAA notification because  it exceeds 200 feet in height.8   St. 
  Louis Mobile  does not  dispute that  the Belle  tower was  not 
  registered from  1996 until  July 2002.   Accordingly, we  find 
  that St. Louis  Mobile repeatedly9 violated Section 17.4(a)  of 
  the Rules.10

7.        St. Louis Mobile asserts that the forfeiture should  be 
  cancelled because  it made good faith  efforts to register  the 
  tower in  1996 and again  in 1999.  While  it does appear  that 
  St.  Louis Mobile  made  some  efforts to  register  the  tower 
  several  years ago,  we are  not persuaded  that these  minimal 
  efforts warrant  mitigation of the  forfeiture amount.  If  St. 
  Louis  Mobile  was   unable  to  provide  certain   information 
  regarding the  1981 FAA study requested  by the prior owner  of 
  the Belle tower,  St. Louis Mobile could simply have  requested 
  that  the FAA  conduct  a new  study  on the  tower.   That  is 
  precisely  what  other similarly  situated  tower  owners  have 
  done.  Moreover, contrary  to St. Louis Mobile's claim that  it 
  was unable  to obtain a copy  of the 1981  FAA study, the  1981 
  FAA  study has  always been  available from  the FAA.   Indeed, 
  after the Kansas  City Office contacted St. Louis Mobile  about 
  the unregistered tower in July 2002, St. Louis Mobile  obtained 
  a copy of the 1981 FAA study from the FAA, provided this  study 
  to the Commission,  and registered the tower.  In addition,  we 
  note that, significantly,  St. Louis Mobile made no efforts  to 
  register since 1999 even though it knew its tower had not  been 
  successfully registered.

8.        St. Louis Mobile also asserts  that at no time was  the 
  Belle tower a  hazard to air navigation.  However, this  factor 
  does  not  entitle St.  Louis  Mobile  to a  reduction  of  the 
  proposed forfeiture under the Commission's downward  adjustment 
  criteria  for  forfeitures.11   We  already  treat  failure  to 
  register  a  tower  as a  more  minor  class  of  tower  safety 
  violation  than, for  example,  failure  to light  or  paint  a 
  tower. 

9.        Finally, St. Louis Mobile asserts that it is unable  to 
  pay the  forfeiture.  St. Louis Mobile  claims that it has  not 
  had a  large measure of  success in obtaining  tenants for  the 
  Belle tower12  and provides balance sheets  for 1999, 2000  and 
  2001 in support  of this claim.  The Commission has  repeatedly 
  held that a company's gross revenues are the best indicator  of 
  its ability to pay  a forfeiture.13  We are unable to  evaluate 
  fully St. Louis  Mobile's ability to pay the $3,000  forfeiture 
  based on the  balance sheets which it provided.  These  balance 
  sheets list only the  rental income and expenses for the  Belle 
  tower.   However, according  to Commission  records, St.  Louis 
  Mobile  is  the  licensee  of  two  paging  and  radiotelephone 
  service  stations,  which  are  authorized  under  call   signs 
  KNKL966 and  KNKJ413.   St.  Louis Mobile did  not provide  any 
  financial information concerning its paging and  radiotelephone 
  operations  and therefore  we do  not have  a sufficient  basis 
  upon which to evaluate its ability to pay the forfeiture.  

10.       We have examined St. Louis Mobile's response to the NAL 
  pursuant to  the statutory  factors above,  and in  conjunction 
  with the Policy Statement as well.  As a result of our  review, 
  we conclude that  St. Louis Mobile repeatedly violated  Section 
  17.4(a) of the Rules, and we find no basis for cancellation  or 
  reduction of the forfeiture proposed for this violation.  

                   IV.       ORDERING CLAUSES

11.       Accordingly,  IS  ORDERED  THAT,  pursuant  to  Section 
  503(b) of  the Act, and Sections  0.111, 0.311, and  1.80(f)(4) 
  of the Rules,14 St.  Louis Mobile Systems Inc. IS LIABLE for  a 
  monetary forfeiture  in the  amount of  three thousand  dollars 
  ($3,000)  for repeated  violation  of Section  17.4(a)  of  the 
  Rules. 

12.       Payment of the forfeiture shall  be made in the  manner 
  provided for  in Section 1.80 of the  Rules, within 30 days  of 
  the  release of  this Order.   If the  forfeiture is  not  paid 
  within the  period specified, the case  may be referred to  the 
  Department  of  Justice  for  collection  pursuant  to  Section 
  504(a) of  the Act.15  Payment may be  made by mailing a  check 
  or similar  instrument, payable to the  order of the  ``Federal 
  Communications  Commission,''  to  the  Federal  Communications 
  Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.   The 
  payment should  note NAL/Acct. No.  200232560023 and FRN  0005-
  9463-55.  Requests for  full payment under an installment  plan 
  should be  sent to: Chief,  Revenue and Receivables  Operations 
  Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.16

13.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by first  class mail and certified mail return  receipt 
  requested  to St.  Louis Mobile  Systems  Inc., P.O.  Box  405, 
  Rolla, Missouri 65402-0405.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

  1 47 C.F.R.  17.4(a).  

  2 Notice  of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
200232560023 (Enf. Bur., Kansas City Office, released August  20, 
2002).    

  3 St.  Louis Mobile  states that  when it  submitted the  paper 
Form 854  in 1996,  it responded  ``unknown'' to  Item 26,  which 
requested the date on which the application for an FAA study  was 
submitted to the FAA.  St. Louis Mobile maintains that it did not 
know the FAA  study application  date because the  FAA study  had 
been requested by the  prior owner of the  tower and the FAA  was 
unable to provide the application date.  St. Louis Mobile  states 
that when it attempted to register the Belle tower electronically 
in 1999,  the  registration application  was  initially  rejected 
because it did  not provide  the FAA study  application date  and 
because the FAA study  was not in  the Commission database.   St. 
Louis Mobile maintains  that it attempted  to register the  tower 
again in 1999 after the Commission's former Antenna Survey Branch 
advised it that it could provide the FAA study issue date in lieu 
of the application date, but the registration was again  rejected 
because the FAA study was not in the Commission database.   

  4 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

  5 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

  6 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

  7  We   note  that  ASR   applications  for  existing   antenna 
structures in Missouri were required to be filed during a  30-day 
filing window from October 1  to October 31, 1996.   Streamlining 
the  Commission's  Antenna  Structure  Clearance  Procedure   and 
Revision  of  Part  17  of  the  Commission's  Rules   Concerning 
Construction, Marking and Lighting of Antenna Structures, 11  FCC 
Rcd 4272, 4279 (1995).

  8 See 47 C.F.R.  17.7(a).

  9  Section 312(f)(2)  of the  Act  provides that  ``[t]he  term 
`repeated,' ... means the commission or omission of such act more 
than once or, if such  commission or omission is continuous,  for 
more than one day.''  47 U.S.C.  312(f)(2).

  10 Because we have determined that the violation was  repeated, 
we need not make a determination as to whether the violation  was 
willful.  In this regard, Section  503(b)(1) of the Act  provides 
that a  forfeiture penalty  may be  imposed if  the violation  is 
either willful or repeated.  47 U.S.C.  503(b)(1).

  11 Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17113; 47 C.F.R.   1.80(b), 
Note to  paragraph  b(4):  Section  II.-Adjustment  Criteria  for 
Section 503 Forfeitures.  

  12  Commission records  indicate that  there are  at least  two 
Commission licensees on the  Belle tower, Mid-Missouri  Mobilfone 
and Ozark Beepers, Inc.  Both licensees hold numerous paging  and 
radiotelephone licenses and are owned by William G. Bowles,  Jr., 
the principal owner of St. Louis Mobile.

  13  See Long  Distance  Direct, Inc.,  15  FCC Rcd  3297,  3305 
(2000); PJB Communications  of Virginia,  Inc., 7  FCC Rcd  2088, 
2089 (1991).  

  14 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).  

  15 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

  16 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.