The Blue Mountain Translator District presented to the Union County Commissioners on Wednesday with the message its still not getting paid for its services.

Alex McHaddad and April Simpson represented the translator district to speak about what they’ve been doing to update their system and pursue more funding.

The local translator district is the only one left in Oregon, according to McHaddad. It provides the local area with TV channels like NBC, ABC and Fox, but many people who use the service don’t seem to realize they have to pay for it.

McHaddad said letters have been recently
sent to those in the district, which include Baker and Union counties, stating $100 is due for the use of the service, and if it is not paid for it goes on the users’ property taxes.

According to the translator district’s website, the federal government requires all full power television stations to transmit their signals for free.

However, anyone who owns or rents residential property in Baker and Union counties and receives and uses the “over the air” television signals from any of the three translators are required to pay the $100.

The benefit of this service, McHaddad and Simpson said, is they could begin running advertising for emergency situations and they could air local sports.

McHaddad said they plan to be more aggressive in getting funding from legislators next session since what they submitted this year was not considered.

Also at the meeting, Union County Chamber of Commerce Director Bob Kavanaugh presented a summary of how the chamber was doing over the last year.

Kavanaugh made a very similar presentation to the La Grande City Council recently.

He said the National Guard armory, which the chamber almost lost control of last year, is now doing much better.

Last year, the National Guard threatened to take back control of the armory, where the chamber holds events for a portion of the profits.

The National Guard said the expenses of electricity was too high and it would take back power from the chamber. The chamber was able to persuade the armory to not take it back and since has gotten expenses back in control and hold more events at the armory.

See complete story in Friday's Observer

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