A fuzzy signal

Moffat County commissioners on Thursday gave the go ahead that K27 Television needed to get back on the air. But it's unclear whether the Craig station's owner will take advantage.

K27's signal went down one week ago, when a windstorm of near hurricane force blew down a tower holding the broadcasting equipment. Moffat County owned the tower.

During a specially called meeting, the commissioners gave K27 owner Jerry Thompson permission to erect a pole and an antenna on the Sandrocks in place of the tower so that K27 could begin broadcasting again. The commissioners said they would develop an agreement for electricity costs at county-owned broadcasting sites.

"I'm thinking whether I even want to do that or not," Thompson said of the agreements.

Thompson provided no timeline for when K27 would return to the air, if he decides to put up an antenna.

The county owns broadcasting sites at the Sandrocks, Juniper Mountain and Bakers Peak, and the county pays the electric bill at these sites.

"I don't want to go on forever paying for electric for all these sites Moffat County has nothing to do with," Commissioner Darryl Steele said.

Moffat County quit transmitting the signals of Denver TV stations more than a year ago. At the time the county quit transmitting the signals, the businesses and agencies that were using the sites were supposed to pick up the electric bill. Site users include K27, the Craig Police Department and Steamboat Springs radio station KFMU.

None of the site users have paid any electric bills, county budget analyst Tinneal Gerber said.

The commissioners agreed Thursday that the county would pay half the bill for the Sandrocks site and the site's users would share the remaining balance.

But from now on, the businesses and agencies must pay the electric bills.

The county still needs to sort out property ownership rights on the Sandrocks.

Surveys completed in the late 1980s did not clearly indicate what the city owns and the county leases.

"Looking at this thing, I don't think we can come to a resolution as to who owns what," Steele said.

To resolve the confusion, the commissioners plan to have the county surveyor figure out the property lines.

K27 has been the only TV station that county residents without cable or satellite dishes could receive over their antennas since the county quit transmitting the signals of Denver stations.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craig-dailypress.com.

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