Frigid weather gets radio station out of fence fine


KMBQ-AM Wasilla AK was inspected by an FCC agent, it was discovered that the tower was not protected from public access by adequate fencing, resulting in a $7K fine. The licensee, Spirit of Alaska Broadcasting Inc., said that it was well aware of the situation and that it had done everything it possibly could to keep people away from the tower. It just couldn’t build a proper fence in sub-zero temperature conditions.

Spirit noted that the station began operations in December of 2008. It described meteorological conditions, noting that “…there was three feet of snow on the ground, the daytime high temperatures ranged from -2 to -8 degrees Fahrenheit, with wind gusts up to 50 miles per hour, and the overnight lows were -20 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Spirit said that it took great pains to protect the site from intruders. The FCC said, “Specifically, Spirit describes that it erected fences of both black plastic sheeting and flexible orange plastic snow fencing, put orange and red markers around the plastic fencing, put five “No Trespassing” signs on the plastic fencing, installed additional non-ionizing radiation signs on the plastic fencing and on the transmitter building and the radiator block, and that it anchored the signage and sheeting with additional concrete blocks. Spirit states that it also maintained a regular physical presence at the site on the actual six-acre parcel owned by Spirit’s President pending construction of the permanent base fence, along with placing additional no trespassing signs around the perimeter of the property. Spirit states that once the weather conditions permitted, it completed construction of a permanent chain-link locked fence around the AM antenna structure during the first week in April 2009.”

On top of that the station was put into receivership United States District Court for the District of Alaska with FCC approval granted 8/19/10.

Given all of this, the FCC has cancelled the fine.