Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version
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.
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
) File No. EB-02-TP-618
Power Country, Inc. )
) NAL/Acct. No.
Licensee of AM Radio Station WGRO, )
Lake City, Florida ) FRN 0001-8101-75
Adopted: July 8, 2004 Released: July 12,
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of one thousand dollars
($1,000) to Power Country, Inc. (``PCI''), licensee of AM radio
station WGRO, Lake City, Florida, for willful violation of
Section 73.49 of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').1 The noted
violation involves PCI's failure to maintain an effective locked
fence around the base of its AM antenna tower.
2. On November 22, 2002, two agents from the Commission's
Tampa Field Office (``Tampa Office'') inspected PCI's
AM antenna tower for station WGRO(AM) in Lake City,
Florida. The agents observed that the antenna tower
had radio frequency potential at its base. They also
found the station's AM antenna tower was not enclosed
within an effective locked fence. A lock was attached
to the fence post but one side of the hinge and hasp
was not attached to the gate, thus rendering the fence
3. On May 1, 2003, the Tampa Office issued a Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to PCI in
the amount of seven thousand dollars ($7,000).2 PCI
filed a response to the NAL on June 2, 2003 seeking a
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
PCI claims the inner base fence surrounding the AM
tower was locked and effective before the inspection.
It states the hasp fell away from the fence post ``when
an inspector pulled on the lock.''3 PCI asserts that
even if the inner base fence was ineffective, an outer
fence surrounded the property and constituted an
``effective locked fence at all times.''4 PCI also
provided a receipt for an order for a new inner base
fence it placed almost a week before the agents'
inspection. Finally, PCI claims it is unable to pay
the $7,000 forfeiture and submitted supporting
4. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended (``Act''),5 Section 1.80 of the Rules,6
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) (``Forfeiture Policy Statement''). In examining PCI'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.7
5. Section 73.49 of the Rules requires AM antenna towers
having radio frequency potential at the base (series fed, folded
unipole, and insulated base antennas) to be enclosed within an
effective locked fence or other enclosure.8 PCI asserts its
inner base and outer field fences complied with this requirement.
We disagree. Upon arrival, the agents observed that the inner
base fence was ineffective, because one side of the gate hinge
and hasp was not connected to the fence. This break in the gate
was apparent to naked eye and would allow anyone access to the
tower. Contrary to PCI's assertions, the agents did not touch or
pull on the lock at any time during the inspection. The gate
hinge and hasp was in this condition when the agents arrived.
The agents also observed that the outer fence surrounding the
property was not effective even though the outer gate was locked,
because the fence did not encompass one side of the property. In
fact, the agents did not enter the outer fence through the locked
gate; rather they were instructed by the station's general
manager to avoid the main gate and enter the property through the
unfenced side. Thus, at the time of the inspection, the outer
fence did not enclose the property and was incapable of
protecting or preventing access to the antenna tower.
6. PCI asserts that the forfeiture should be reduced or
cancelled because it placed an order to repair the inner base
fence prior to the agents' inspection. Although we do not
believe that PCI's efforts to comply are sufficient to justify
canceling the forfeiture, we do believe that those same efforts
constitute good faith on its part that merit a reduction of the
7. Finally, we have reviewed the financial information
provided by PCI, and we find that this information also provides
a basis for reduction of the forfeiture on the basis of inability
8. We have examined PCI's response to the NAL pursuant to
the statutory factors above, and in conjunction with the
Forfeiture Policy Statement. As a result of our review, we
conclude that PCI willfully violated Section 73.49 of the Rules11
and find that, although cancellation of the proposed monetary
forfeiture is not warranted, reduction of the forfeiture amount
to $1,000 is appropriate based on PCI's good faith efforts to
comply and its financial situation.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT 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,12 Power Country, Inc. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE
in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000) for willfully
violating Section 73.49 of the Rules.
10. 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.13
Payment shall 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. 200332700022, and FRN 0001-8101-75. Requests for full
payment under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief,
Revenue and Receivables Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington,
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, a copy of this Order shall
be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested and by First
Class Mail to Power Country, Inc.'s counsel, Stephen Hartzell-
Jordan of Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP, Post
Office Box 1800, Raleigh, NC 27602.
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
147 C.F.R. § 73.49.
2Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200332700022 (Enf. Bur., Tampa Office, released May 1, 2003).
3PCI Response at 2.
547 U.S.C. § 503(b).
647 C.F.R. § 1.80.
747 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
847 C.F.R. § 73.49.
9See Radio One Licenses, Inc., 18 FCC Rcd 15964 (2003).
10The Commission has determined that, in general, a licensee's
gross revenues are the best indicator of its ability to pay a
forfeiture. PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088
(1992) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented
approximately 2.02 percent of the violator's gross revenues);
Local Long Distance, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd 24385 (2000) (forfeiture
not deemed excessive where it represented approximately 7.9
percent of the violator's gross revenues); Hoosier Broadcasting
Corporation, 15 FCC Rcd 8640 (2002) (forfeiture not deemed
excessive where it represented approximately 7.6 percent of the
violator's gross revenues). In this case, the reduced forfeiture
represents a smaller percentage than those issued in the Local
Long Distance, Inc. and Hoosier Broadcasting Corp., cases, and
only a slightly higher percentage compared to the forfeiture
issued in PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc.
11Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under
Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term `willful,'
... means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of
such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of
this Act or any rule or regulation of the Commission authorized
by this Act ....'' See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
1247 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
1347 U.S.C. § 504(a).
14See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.