TV translator district shouldn’t mislead residents

With reference to Joshua Dillen’s article, “TV district has billing troubles.” I find the officials of the BMTD that are quoted are not being truthful or very honest in their attempts to collect user fees from the county residents. Near the middle of the article with reference to the ability to collect the user fees through property taxes, I quote from the article “Dean said the issue is a gray area in the state law.” The District is established as a specific area. There is authority to collect taxes for the district in that specific area. Just as a library district cannot collect taxes from folks outside the district, even though they might use the library facility, the BMTD cannot collect taxes from users outside the district area. That doesn’t seem very gray to me. My home is in Baker City, not in the BMTD area.

Later in the article (I quote the article) “Anna Dean said people might be misled by companies that advertise their products as a way to receive “free” TV signals.” And in the next paragraph (this is not a quote from Dean), “But in rural areas such as Baker and Union counties, the only TV signals that most antennas can receive are the ones the Blue Mountain Translator District supplies.” This is not true. OPB has their own transmitter on Beaver Mountain. It is owned, operated and maintained by OPB. The BMTD’s listing of OPB in their handout is at best confusing to OPB signal users and at most could be a deceptive (fraudulent?) action to get OPB signal users to pay the $100 fee or remove their antenna. The only way the OPB signal from Beaver Mountain can be used is with an antenna of the same type that can receive BMTD’s signals.

I do not use BMTD’s signals regardless of the fact that the antenna I use for OPB signal reception is capable of receiving BMTD’s signals. I have told them that on their opt-out form and yet they insist that I either pay their user fee or remove my antenna. I doubt the state law requires OPB signal users to remove their antennas if they are not using BMTD’s signals.

I understand BMTD’s difficult financial situation but believe they need to develop a better way to gather additional funding that isn’t so deceptive.

Ramon Lara

Baker City