- BC Games
Point Roberts radio tower opponents raise $18k for lawyers
Organizers behind a group opposed to a five-tower radio array being built in Point Roberts are nearly halfway to meeting their fundraising goal to hire a world-class law firm.
American Suzanne Rosser, who runs the Stop the Radio Towers email list and is a contributor to the website notowers.webs.com, said this week that her group has raised $18,000 of the estimated $40,000 needed to retain a legal firm in Washington, D.C.
Rosser said the Point Roberts Taxpayers Association and Point Roberts Conservation Society have been accepting donations on the American side of the border with the expectation that the issue will eventually wind up in the courts.
“These donations would be collected to pay for our two specialized lawyers, one for Whatcom County Hearing and the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] hearings,” she explained.
“Our FCC lawyer in Washington, D.C. is $800 per hour and the land use lawyer in Bellingham, Wash. is closer to $300 per hour. “
Rosser said she expects the proponent behind the radio towers, KRPI Radio (owned by BBC Broadcasting, Inc. and operated under a local marketing agreement by Sher-E-Punjab Radio Broadcasting Inc.) will spare no expense in meeting their challenge in court.
But despite raising $18,000, she hesitates to talk about a halfway milestone.
“The issue here is we don’t know how much it’s going to cost us, so we don’t really know what the halfway mark really is,” she said. “Lawyers are expensive.”
Rosser also organized the Dec. 1 crossborder demonstrations in an attempt to unite residents on both sides of the border against the project.
“We feel the demonstration was quite successful and there were almost 300 people on the Point Roberts side during the day,” she said, adding there were about 100 people on the Tsawwassen side.
The application from KRPI radio currently located in Ferndale, Wash., is to relocate and install a five-tower radio array at McKenzie Way and Tyee Drive in Point Roberts, and broadcast at a signal strength of 50 kilowatts.
The FCC granted approval for the plan earlier this year, but is now before the Whatcom Planning Committee, which won’t make a decision until 2014.
People wishing to help the legal fund can mail a cheque to PRTA/FTT, P.O. Box 158, Point Roberts, WA 98281. Alternately, the website notowers.webs.com accepts credit card or PayPal donations.