Boundary County Translator District

Regular Meeting—Board of Directors

June 20th, 2017

Chairman Allen Gemmrig called the regular meeting of the Boundary County Translator District Board of Directors to order at 5:00 p.m.


1.    Roll Call Present:

a.   Board Members:

Allen Gemmrig                                              Anthony Compton

Dave Wenk                                                   Heather Gemmrig

John Youngwirth


Also Present:

Deborah Youngwirth                                      Eric Lederhos

Gerald Higgs                                                   Crista Davis

Dylan Benefield                                            



2.    Minutes of Previous Meeting

a.     John Youngwirth motioned to approve the previous month’s minutes with the changes to item 5(b) the back tracks to the buggy are in need of replacement, not the front and item 6(a) correct the name Lori Compton to Lori Plato.  Heather Gemmrig seconded, motion carried.  Dave Wenk voted yes, Anthony Compton voted yes, Allen Gemmrig voted yes, Heather Gemmrig voted yes, John Youngwirth voted yes, motion passed. 


3.    Treasurer’s Report

Anthony Compton motioned to approve the Treasurer’s report as presented. Heather Gemmrig seconded.  John Youngwirth voted yes, Dave Wenk voted yes, Anthony Compton voted yes, Allen Gemmrig voted yes, Heather Gemmrig voted yes, motion passed. 


4.     Old Business:

a.     2017 Black Mountain Tower Bid Update – tabled to next month’s meeting as the district has not heard back from Verizon for an update.

b.     NTA Meeting Update – (1) Will be losing two channels to T-Mobile soon.  (2) Chairman of the FCC has received a lot of public input and is moving forward to pursue funding to assist with the cost of upgrading licenses.  (3) The board also reported that no one was interested in the octane units.  (4) Sounds as though the current threat of auction of channels will not affect us at this time, but in seven years it will become an issue.   

c.     Subcontractors Use of District Property – the office checked with the insurance agent regarding coverage of district property and the insurance side is covered in regards to use of equipment / property by subcontractors when performing district work.  No response has been received yet from the attorney with any of his concerns.  This issue tabled to next month’s meeting.


5.    Maintenance Report

a.     Eric Lederhos – Issue with 102.3.  There was some interference that was causing some issues.  Eric is working with Dylan Benefield with Blue Sky Broadcasting to correct the issues.  Looks like a microwave link may need to be installed if the license can be changed to a low power FM and if that cannot happen, then the microwave link would not be of use.

b.     Buggy Tracks – Surplus – Dave Wenk checked on the value of the tracks and if they are not in bad shape, the value would be about $300-$500.  Allen Gemmrig motioned to approve a minimum bid of $200 for the silent auction to be held.  John Youngwirth seconded, motion carried.  John Youngwirth voted yes, Dave Wenk voted yes, Anthony Compton voted yes, Allen Gemmrig voted yes, Heather Gemmrig voted yes, motion passed. 



a.     Future of KBCI Channel 9 – Anthony Compton discussed with Mr. Carpenter at the high school and there was not a lot of feasible ideas that came from that conversation.  Mr. Carpenter is very interested in having the studio as part of the school but was sure the district did not have the ability to support the project with staff or space availability.  Anthony has not been able to make contact with NIC or UofI.  Eric Lederhos asked about the security of the equipment if installed at the school.  That is something that would still need to be worked out.  Dave Wenk stated he could check with NIC and UofI has no space available.  Allen Gemmrig stated that it was discovered that there were licensing issues with the ability to transmit content via internet and the original broadcasting as was happening with KBCI Channel 9 was in violation of FCC rules and could have resulted in fines.  It was communicated to the board that the license was transferred to a low powered broadcasting license.  It was advised to the board chairman that the studio does not operate as it was unless the license is converted.  John Youngwirth stated he felt the whole project should just be scrapped and equipment sold for what we can get.  Allen Gemmrig stated he would like to still see something go forward.  Anthony Compton stated he is starting to have some reservations regarding the viability of the project and is not seeing that we will be able to pull this together.  Dave Wenk asked about Chuck Newhouse’s Boundary County Live site and yes Chuck was able to air some events that the studio would otherwise have done.  John Youngwirth felt we were competing with Newhouse and didn’t feel that was correct.  Gerald Higgs stated that he has some issues with the project of a tv studio and the translator operating one.  He feels the future of tv is moving towards internet, and other options such as NetFlix, Hulu, etc.  He also feels the cost to operate is beyond what our community can afford.  He feels setting something like this up on internet would be more viable and would be something the high school could work with better.  He doesn’t feel the direction the translator has gone has made good financial sense.  He feels we were in direct competition with private enterprise.  Mr. Higgs did not feel we would continue to reach viewers if they didn’t see variety of programming.  The expense as originally set up would be something he does not feel this community can sustain.  He feels the Translator is going beyond the scope and there are no checks and balance in place to balance a tax supported entity. Many people in Boundary County do not even own a tv.  He feels the Translator should cut losses and move on.  Anthony Compton feels at some point Translator districts may eventually start to phase out.  Per Mr. Higgs, as a result of Telecommunications lobby, if you are receiving your signal on tv through a satellite or cable provider, you are required to disconnect manually to get back on receiver to receive local tv channels. Examples such as this show the difficulty consumers have to utilize local tv signals.  Anthony Compton asked if the board would like to go another meeting to hold a public hearing to give the public a chance to give input.  Heather Gemmrig stated she would also like to see this.  Mr. Higgs asked if Blue Sky Broadcasting would be willing to put something on the air.  Dylan Benefield stated he would be willing to do this.  Public advertising will again be placed in the paper, on social media and via radio.  This item will be added to the agenda.  Anthony Compton will put together something to email to Dylan Benefield for radio coverage.


7.     New Business:  

a.     Rebroadcast on Channel 9 – Quote from EL Automation – This item is no longer required due to information discovered regarding license issue. 

b.     Request for information – Sheila Lavala – Sheila had requested copies of several videos that were taken by Tech Partners.  We have no information that is usable from Tech Partner as to the format.  Anthony Compton got a quote of about $800-$1,000 to Embyrs Interactive come up to reassemble equipment to see what could  be salvaged.  Anthony has requested basic information about the system such as user names and passwords.  It appears the equipment has been wiped clean and there is no guarantee that there is anything on the server network equipment that has been unable to be accessed.  John Youngwirth stated that he feels legal action should be taken at this time.  Anthony Compton has discussed with the attorney in regards to options and we will defer this issue to the district attorney.  The board feels they have done due diligence to retrieve the information. Heather Gemmrig motion to approve Anthony Compton to discuss further with the attorney, a letter to be sent to Tech Partners to request additional information, Dave Wenk seconded, motion carried.  John Youngwirth voted yes, Dave Wenk voted yes, Allen Gemmrig voted yes, Anthony Compton voted yes, Heather Gemmrig voted yes.  

c.     Gerald Higgs – Request for review of Bylaws and Mission Statement – Mr. Higgs has not read the bylaws of the translator but feels it is beyond scope for BC Translator to be developing content and feels the district is here strictly for the rebroadcast of content.  He feels that would clarify the direction the translator board should take in the future and with future boards.  Anthony Compton stated he did not feel there were bylaws that were developed for the translator and instead operates under Idaho Code.  Mr. Higgs stated that the laws are set up as a guideline but bylaws can be developed that would be more restrictive to the translator district, but cannot be less restrictive.  Anthony Compton stated this is something they’d like to further discuss with the attorney to clarify the scope of the board and activity of the translator.  John Youngwirth expressed concern with being too restrictive to future boards.  Mr. Higgs stated that if something developed today is not working for a future board, then changes can be made at that time.  Anthony Compton stated something such as this would be appealing to him and he would like to see a packet of some kind for new board members that would help guide future board members.     

d.     Dylan Benefield – Blue Sky Broadcasting Email – Dylan Benefield was present to discuss a construction permit he is working on.  There is some potential for use of equipment on the Black Mountain tower site.  There are some things Dylan is still working on but wanted to give the board an idea of what he is looking into.  He is unsure if the Black Mountain location will work for what he needs, but is continuing to look at this.  He is really interested to know if there is enough available tower space to make the changes he would like.  Eric Lederhos stated we do have a location where we could put the equipment Dylan would like to add.  However, if Verizon moves forward with the new tower, then there would be additional room at that point.  Dylan stated it will be a little bit before he will be prepared to move forward but will continue to keep in touch with the board.


8.    Emergency Response Committee Report:

      a.   No Update.


9.    Tax Waiver Applications:

a.     None


10. Executive Session:

a.     Allen Gemmrig motioned to move into Executive Session per Idaho Code 74-206(1)(f) To communicate with legal counsel for the public agency to discuss the legal ramifications of and legal options for pending litigation, or controversies not yet being litigated but imminently likely to be litigated at 7:00 p.m.  Heather Gemmrig seconded, motion carried.  John Youngwirth voted yes, Dave Wenk voted yes, Anthony Compton voted yes, Allen Gemmrig voted yes, Heather Gemmrig voted yes, motion passed. 


Anthony Compton motioned to adjourn executive session at 7:10 p.m., John Youngwirth seconded.  John Youngwirth voted yes, Dave Wenk voted yes, Anthony Compton voted yes, Allen Gemmrig voted yes, Heather Gemmrig voted yes, motion passed. 


Next Meeting: Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 at 5 p.m. @ the office of Youngwirth, Davis & Associates.