Sunday, December 24, 2000
Steamboat Springs People depending on television signals offered by the county will see snow on their TV screens as well as on the ground after the first of the year.
County Commissioners have reaffirmed their decision to pull the plug on the county-run television signals because the cost of maintaining the system does not justify the number of people using it.
"The equipment on the site has been deteriorating," County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said.
In 1994, the county tried to pass a ballot issue that would collect $1 million in revenues to support the system. But it failed by a large margin, with 2,081 people voting yes and 4,130 voting no. From there, the commissioners decided when the $50,000 a year that the county allocates to the system can't adequately maintain it, the plug would be pulled.
"We have determined that now is the time to turn it off," Commissioner Dan Ellison said.
It isn't sure how many people are still using the system, Routt County Emergency Manager Chuck Vale said. He was put in charge of shutting down the television signal, which broadcasts Denver stations.
"We did a study a few years ago and at that time there weren't very many people who were actually on it," Vale said.
Recently, the system was down for an extended amount of time and Stahoviak said 11 people called to find out what was wrong.
The county has maintained the system of seven signal repeaters to boost reception of broadcast television signals from Denver since sometime in the 1970s. But since cable television came along, and the use of smaller, more affordable satellite dishes became popular, the system isn't used that much.
Vale said it kept its use for a while after satellite dishes became more financially feasible because many of the user plans didn't offer the Denver stations. Now, nearly all offer the Denver stations and the satellite owners no longer use the system.