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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
Long Pond Baptist Church
) File Number EB-05-TP-235
Licensee of FM Radio Station WTBH
) NAL/Acct. No. 200632700003
And Owner of Antenna Structure
) FRN: 0006149397
ASR # 1204141
Adopted: January 31, 2007 Released: February 1, 2007
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of eleven thousand two hundred dollars ($11,200) to Long
Pond Baptist Church ("Long Pond"), licensee of radio station WTBH (FM)
and owner of antenna structure # 1204141, for willful and repeated
violation of Section 17.50 of the Commission's Rules ("Rules") and for
willful violation of Section 73.3527 of the Rules. The noted
violations involve Long Pond's failure to clean and repaint its
antenna structure as often as necessary to maintain good visibility
and its failure to maintain for public inspection the complete
required contents of the station's public inspection file.
2. On September 13, 2005, agents of the Enforcement Bureau's Tampa Office
conducted an inspection of antenna structure # 1204141. The agents
observed that the orange paint on the tower was badly faded and
chipped away, revealing significant amounts of the bare tower. The
faded orange paint on the uppermost bands was so grey that the orange
bands were indistinguishable from the adjacent white bands. The
Antenna Structure Registration ("ASR") for this tower requires that
the tower be painted and lighted in accordance with FAA Chapters 1, 3,
11, and 21 in FAA Circular Number 70/7460-1J. Chapter 3 provides that
antenna structures shall display alternate bands of aviation orange
and white paint, that the bands be equal in width, and approximately
one-seventh the height of the structure for towers 700 feet or less.
3. On September 19, 2005, the agents conducted a follow-up inspection of
Long Pond's facilities and antenna structure # 1204141 and observed
that the condition of the tower paint was the same as it was during
the September 13, 2005 inspection. The agents spoke to the General
Manager and owner of WTBH and asked him when the tower was last
painted. The General Manager stated it had been five or six years
since the tower was painted but that it was supposed to be painted the
week before. The General Manager could not provide any invoices,
paperwork, or contact information to support his statement showing
that he had previously arranged to have the tower painted. The agents
requested to inspect station WTBH's public inspection file. The
General Manager was unable to make available the station's service
contour map, political file, the public and broadcasting manual, donor
lists, and the local public notice announcements.
4. On May 1, 2006, the Tampa Office issued a Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture to Long Pond in the amount of fourteen thousand dollars
($14,000) for the apparent willful and repeated violation of Section
17.50 of the Rules and the apparent willful violation of Section
73.3527 of the Rules. Long Pond submitted a response to the NAL
requesting a reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
5. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Act, Section 1.80 of the Rules, 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 Long Pond'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
6. Section 17.50 of the Rules states that antenna structures requiring
painting shall be cleaned or repainted as often as necessary to
maintain good visibility. The registration for antenna structure #
1204141 specifically requires that the tower be painted with alternate
bands of aviation orange and white paint and that the bands be equal
in width and approximately one-seventh the height of the structure for
towers 700 feet or less. At the time of the inspections, the agents
observed that the orange paint on the tower was so badly faded and
chipped that the orange bands were indistinguishable from the adjacent
white bands, thus diminishing the overall visibility of the tower.
Based on the evidence before us, we find that Long Pond willfully and
repeatedly violated Section 17.50 of the Rules by failing to clean and
repaint its antenna structure as often as necessary to maintain good
7. Citing Gary M. Schikora and George Horner Trust, Long Pond argues the
forfeiture for the tower painting violation should be cancelled. In
the cited case, the tower owner repainted its structure less than 30
days after receipt of a Letter of Inquiry ("LOI") inquiring into the
paint status of the tower. Long Pond points out that its antenna
structure was repainted slightly over a month after the inspection. It
asserts that it should not receive a forfeiture, because the tower
owner in Gary M. Schikora and George Horner Trust did not receive one.
We disagree. In Gary M. Schikora and George Horner Trust, the owners
owned the structure for less than a year prior to receipt of the LOI.
Long Pond, however, was a long-time owner of the structure. Long Pond
also admitted that its antenna structure had not been painted in five
or six years, so it knew, or should have known, that its structure
needed to be repainted prior to the inspection.
8. Long Pond also argues that the forfeiture for the tower painting
violation should be reduced, because its case is similar to that in
Crown Communications, Inc. In that case, however, the tower owner
repainted its antenna structure prior to being notified of the tower's
condition by the Commission and received a reduction based on its good
faith efforts to comply with the Rules. According to its response,
"right after the inspections, my father did make arrangements to have
the tower painted." Corrective action taken to come into compliance
with the Rules is expected, and does not nullify or mitigate any prior
forfeitures or violations. Thus, we conclude a reduction based on Long
Pond's good faith efforts to comply with the Rules is not warranted.
9. Section 73.3527(a) of the Rules requires noncommercial educational
broadcast stations to maintain for public inspection, a file
containing materials listed in that section. The public inspection
file is to be maintained at the main studio of the station and be
available for public inspection during regular business hours. On
September 19, 2005, during regular business hours, the General
Manager of station WTBH was unable to make available upon request the
following required items: the station's service contour map, political
file, the public and broadcasting manual, donor lists, or local public
notice announcements. In its response, Long Pond does not dispute the
violation. Based on the evidence, we find that Long Pond willfully
violated Section 73.3527 of the Rules by failing to maintain and make
available a complete public inspection file.
10. Finally, Long Pond requests a reduction based on its history of
compliance with the Rules. We have reviewed Long Pond's record and
conclude a reduction of the forfeiture to $11,200 based on its history
of compliance is appropriate.
11. We have examined Long Pond'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 Long Pond
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 17.50 of the Rules and
willfully violated Section 73.3527 of the Rules. Although cancellation
of the proposed monetary forfeiture is not warranted, reduction of the
forfeiture amount to $11,200 is appropriate based on Long Pond's
history of compliance with the Rules.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
12. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, Long Pond Baptist Church IS
LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of eleven thousand two
hundred dollars ($11,200) for violation of Sections 17.50 and 73.3527
of the Rules.
13. 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. Payment of the forfeiture must be made
by check or similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission. The payment must include the NAL/Acct. No.
and FRN No. referenced above. Payment by check or money order may be
mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8340. Payment by overnight mail may
be sent to Mellon Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room 1540670,
Pittsburgh, PA 15251. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA
Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon Bank, and account
number 911-6106. Requests for full payment under an installment plan
should be sent to: Associate Managing Director, Financial Operations,
445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Long Pond Baptist
Church at its address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
47 C.F.R. SS 17.50, 73.3527.
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200632700003
(Enf. Bur., Tampa Office, May 1, 2006) ("NAL").
47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(D).
Gary M. Schikora and George Horner Trust, Forfeiture Order, 20 FCC Rcd
20116 (Enf. Bur. 2005).
Crown Communications, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd 19917 (Enf. Bur.
See Seawest Yacht Brokers, Forfeiture Order, 9 FCC Rcd 6099 (1994).
47 C.F.R. S 73.3527(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S 73.3527(b).
See 47 C.F.R. S 73.3527(c)(1).
47 U.S.C. S 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 17.50, 73.3527.
47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-502
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-502