Commission drops Denio TV District fees

The Humboldt County Commission approved a motion to discontinue charging residents in the Denio area for television broadcasting. The decision was approved at the July 8 meeting.

Ric Grantham, Communications and TV Director for Humboldt County told the Commission the Denio Television District was unable to provide television signals to the residents in the area. Grantham said it was cost prohibitive to provide service, saying that to deliver three channels to residents it would cost “well over $75,000.”

The District originated as a General Improvement District supplying the Denio area with signals from the County’s radio towers. 

In a separate interview, Humboldt County Manager Dave Mendiola said Denio area residents have not had television signals in a long time. Mendiola estimates that about 40 families are affected by the change. He said the Denio Television District will continue to operate because the county does perform certain maintenance in the area. 

Mendiola said the Humboldt County Assessor will adjust the tax rolls to reflect the change. However, in the past residents had fill out a form to waive the fee if they didn’t receive the signal. The county would send out a crew to verify the lack of reception and approve the waiver. Mendiola said the decision was made to discontinue the surcharge for all those households affected. “There was no reason to charge for something they're not getting and leave it up to them to ask for a waiver when that's not fair either,” he said.

At the meeting, Commissioner Ron Cerri asked if the television district had received any complaints. Grantham said there had been a few. Cerri said he assumed that if people didn’t have television reception they’d have done something else for example, installed satellite. 

Mendiola said that in some cases, residents can get local channels from Reno.

According to County Comptroller Gina Rackley, any money left in the fund will have to be used within the Denio district.