[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Franklin 6-3-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-04. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Street openings and excavations — See Ch. 303.
This ordinance shall hereafter be known and cited as the "Cable Television Ordinance."
For the purpose of this ordinance, the following terms, phrases and words, and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein. Such meanings or definitions of terms are supplemental to those definitions of the Federal Communications Commission, FCC Rules and Regulations, and the Cable Television Act, N.J.S.A. 48:5a-1 et seq., and shall in no way be construed to broaden, alter or conflict with the federal or state definitions.
- ACT or CABLE TELEVISION ACT
- Chapter 186 of the General Laws of the State of New Jersey, 1972, N.J.S.A. 48:5A-1 et seq.
- Initial form submitted by Patriot Media defining operation.
- Patriot Media
- The Federal Communications Commission.
- GROSS RECEIPTS
- As per N.J.S.A. 48:5A-30.
- OCT or BOARD
- The Office of Cable Television or Board of Public Utilities of the State of New Jersey.
- PATRIOT MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS, CNG, LLC. (hereinafter "Patriot Media")
- The applicant for and grantee of the rights under this ordinance.
- The Township of Franklin in the County of Hunterdon and State of New Jersey.
When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense shall include the future; words in the plural number include the singular number; words in the singular number shall include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and nor merely directory.
The Township hereby grants to Patriot Media a nonexclusive consent, right and privilege to place in, upon, along, across, above, over and under the highways, streets, alleys, public ways and public places in the Township poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes, and other television conductors and fixtures necessary to construct, erect, operate, modify and maintain within the Township a cable television system and cable communications system. Construction pursuant to said consent is conditioned upon prior approval of the Board.
Term. The consent granted to Patriot Media herein shall expire 10 years from the effective date of the issuance of a certificate of approval by the Board to Patriot Media.
If Patriot Media seeks a successive consent, it shall, at least 120 days prior to the expiration of this consent, apply for a municipal consent and certificate of approval in accordance with the Cable Television Act, N.J.S.A. 48:5A-11 and 48:5A-16 and applicable state and federal rules and regulations. Patriot Media shall also petition the Board for a certificate of approval authorizing continued operation during the period following expiration of the consent granted herein and until such a time that a decision is made by the municipal governing body relative to the renewal of said consent.
The consent granted herein to Patriot Media shall apply to the entirety of the Township and any area which may hereafter be annexed.
During each year of operation under the consent, the company shall, on or before the 25th day of January each year, file with the chief fiscal officer of Franklin Township of Hunterdon County in which it is certificated to operate a statement, verified by oath, showing the gross receipts from all recurring charges in the nature of the subscription fees paid by subscribers to cable television service as set forth in the Act, N.J.S.A. 48:5a-30 (a), N.J.S.A. 48:5A-3 (k) and shall at the same time pay thereon to said chief fiscal officer the 2% charge thereby imposed as a yearly franchise revenue for the use of the streets. In the event that the Act is amended or supplemented to allow a greater percentage of fees (excluding such additional percentages for which a municipality might presently apply on formal hearing as a result of factors warranting a greater franchise fee) or to broaden the extent of the premiums on which such fees are based or federal law should so provide, then the franchise fee shall be automatically deemed amended to reflect such additional amounts or percentages.
Patriot Media shall be required to proffer service to any person's residence or business located in those areas of the territory described herein, in accordance with the proposal for the provision of services as described in the application. Any additional extension of the system will be made in accordance with the line extension policy in the application. In the event, however, that the OCT adopts, at any time during the duration of the consent granted herein, a line extension policy which would result in Patriot Media being required to provide service to a greater number of Township residents than would be serviced in accordance with the line extension policy in the application, then the extension of service provisions of this ordinance shall be automatically deemed amended to include the new line extension policy.
Restoration. In the event that Patriot Media or its agent shall disturb any pavement, street surfaces, sidewalks, driveways or other surfaces, Patriot Media shall, at its expense, restore and replace such places or things so disturbed in as good condition as existed prior to the commencement of the work. Patriot Media shall also comply with any ordinance of the Township regulating openings or excavations in streets or roads.
Relocation. If at any time during the period of this franchise or any extension thereof, the Township shall alter or change the grade of any street, alley or other public place, Patriot Media, upon reasonable notice and at its expense, shall remove and relay or relocate its equipment.
Temporary removal of cables. Patriot Media, shall within three business days, upon reasonable verbal or written request of the Township, county or state or other public entity, at its expense, temporarily raise, lower or remove its lines in order to facilitate the moving of buildings or machinery or in other like circumstances. If a private party makes such a request, the cost of the temporary raising, lowering or removal of its lines shall be borne by the private party.
Trimming of trees. During the term of this franchise or any extension, Patriot Media shall have the authority to trim trees upon and overhanging streets and public places of the Township to prevent the branches of such trees from coming into contact with equipment belonging to the franchise. Such trimming shall be only to the extent necessary to maintain proper clearance for such equipment. Patriot Media shall provide notice not less than three business days to the Township, except in emergency circumstances wherein notice shall be provided as soon as practicable.
Road openings. Patriot Media shall apply, pursuant to local ordinance, for all necessary road opening permits which application shall be without fee. In the event of emergency circumstances, the franchise need not first apply for permits, but shall nonetheless provide written notice to the Municipal Clerk and the Chief of Police. Said written notice may be by telefax to 908-735-7598. In the absence of objection, Patriot Media may proceed with an emergency road opening. As soon as practical, Patriot Media shall apply for the permits to cover the emergency work.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 303, Street Openings and Excavations.
During the term of this franchise or any renewal, Patriot Media shall maintain a local business office for the purpose of receiving, investigating and resolving all complaints regarding the quality of service, equipment, malfunction and similar matters. Such local business office shall be open during normal business hours, and in no event less than 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and shall have a telephone number in a local telephone exchange and/or a toll-free 800 number.
The Office of Cable Television is hereby designated as the complaint officer for the Township pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 58:5A-26b. All complaints shall be received and processed in accordance with the provisions of N.J.A.C. 14:17-6.5. Patriot Media shall provide to each subscriber, at the time of initial subscription and at least once each year thereafter, written notification of the complaint procedures, including but not limited to the identity, address and telephone number of the complaint officer and the identity, location and agent or manager of the Patriot Media's local business office. The Township reserves the right to change the designation to appoint a Township employee or officer as the municipal complaint officer.
Patriot Media's initial rates for installation and service have been set forth in the application, and the Township has determined that the rates proposed therein for the cable television service are reasonable and hereby approves them as presented, subject to review by the OCT.
All of the commitments contained in the written application, together with all other representations made by Patriot Media, either in writing prior to the adoption of this ordinance or orally at the public hearings, are to be binding upon the franchise as to the terms and conditions of this consent and are incorporated by reference herein, as long as it does not conflict with state or federal law. Failure of Patriot Media to comply with the conditions in the aforesaid application or other commitments made by the applicant during the application process and recorded by the Township or the court stenographer or the terms and conditions of this ordinance may be considered as default of this consent. Patriot Media shall not alter its basic service without first notifying the Township and receiving approval of the OCT. The basic service includes those channels which the franchise is required to carry by FCC rules.
Patriot Media shall not sell, transfer, assign or hypothecate this consent and franchise without the written consent of the Board and upon prior notice of said application of the same being given to the Township.
Patriot Media shall be required to have the capability to override the audio portion of the system in order to permit the broadcasting of emergency messages by the municipality pursuant to state and federal requirements. The company shall in no way be held liable for any injury suffered by the municipality or any other person, during an emergency, if for any reason the municipality is unable to make full use of the cable television system as contemplated herein. The municipality shall utilize the state-approved procedures for such emergency uses.
In the event that the Township determines that it is necessary and feasible for it to contract with Patriot Media for purposes of providing other specialized services, including but not limited to interconnection services, two-way services and access to the system, then Patriot Media shall be required to apply to the Board for approval to enter into and establish the terms and conditions of such contract. All costs for such application to the Board shall be borne and allocated in a manner agreeable to the franchise and the Township and subject to the approval of the Board. The Township and Patriot Media acknowledge the preemption in certain areas of the Board, OCT and FCC and also that the requirements of these regulatory bodies control certain specialized services and such applications, terms and conditions shall be in accordance with the regulations established.
Patriot Media shall provide for not less than the installation of one outlet and basic monthly service free of charge to each school, library and public building in the Township located in the primary service area or located in an area into which service is extended at any time during the terms of the consent granted herein. Each additional outlet installation shall be paid by the institution on a cost-plus-labor basis. Monthly service on such additional outlets shall be charged at regular tariffed rates for additional outlets.
Patriot Media shall give the Township timely notice of all proceedings instituted before the Board in the manner required by the Board for notice to parties when such proceedings may affect the commitment of Patriot Media to the Township as contained herein whether or not such notice is required by law.
Patriot Media shall file a surety bond, in a form approved by the Township Attorney, in favor of the Township in the amount of $25,000 during the life of the franchise.
Such bond shall be to insure the faithful performance of all undertakings of the company as represented in its application and incorporated herein.
Patriot Media will comply with federal and state law before deleting entirely any broad category of video programming or making any change in the mix, level or quality of programming services required by the Patriot Media.
Patriot Media shall notify the Township before deleting entirely any broad category of video programming, and the company agrees to meet with the Township if requested with respect to same.
Patriot Media will provide, at a minimum, a good quality signal, in accordance with federal and state technical standards and prevailing industry standards. The parties reserve all rights and any authority regarding technical standards provided them by federal and state law and regulations at any time during the term of this agreement.
Patriot Media will be committed to keeping pace with the technology of the cable industry in New Jersey and the New York metropolitan area and will take all reasonable steps to maintain the highest degree of product availability, signal integrity and system reliability as compared with New Jersey and New York metropolitan area cable systems of comparable size.
Patriot Media shall indemnify, protect and hold the Township harmless at all times from and against all claims for injury and damage to person or property, both real and personal, including payments made under the Workers' Compensation Law, arising out of the construction, erection, operation, repair, installation, replacement and maintenance of its communication system or of any structure, equipment or appliance or product used to pursue the provisions of the Act or of this municipal consent or by any other act or omission of Patriot Media, its agents or employees.
Patriot Media shall also provide evidence by certificates of insurance or otherwise insuring the Township with respect to all liability for any death, personal injury, property damage or other liability arising out of the Patriot Media's operation of this communications system and said insurance shall have minimum limits as provided for by law, but not less than $500,000 per person for personal injury for any one accident or occurrence; $1,000,000 for the aggregate of personal injury claims for all persons for any one accident or occurrence; and $500,000 for property damage for all claims for any one accident or occurrence.
In the event that any state or federal agency or body shall modify, change or alter any of its provisions with respect to cable television and cable communications, such modifications, changes or alterations shall be incorporated into this consent consistent with the effective dates of such changes.
The company has agreed to implement a senior citizen's discount in the amount of 10% of the monthly basic service rate to any person 62 years of age or older who subscribes to cable services and does not share the subscription with more than one person in the same household who is less than 62 years of age. Such subscribers must meet the income and residence requirements of the Pharmaceutical Assistance to Aged and Disabled (PAAD) pursuant to N.J.S.A. 30:4d-21. The company has agreed to apply the same discount rate to the disabled with the same PAAD eligibility requirements.
If any section, subsection, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason disapproved or held invalid or unconstitutional by any federal or state agency or court of competent jurisdiction, such portions shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision, and such action or judgment shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.
This ordinance shall become effective upon passage and publication according to law. Patriot Media shall be bound thereby upon written notification to the Township that it accepts the terms and conditions herein and the terms and conditions of its certificate from the OCT.
The Township Committee, having conducted a full public hearing in accordance with all applicable statutes and regulations and with procedural requirements of due process and having completed an extensive review of the applicant's submission, exhibits, maps, application and having reviewed the report of the Citizen's Advisory Committee and having received, at the hearings, all comments regarding the qualification of the applicant to receive this franchise, hereby finds that Patriot Media possesses the necessary legal, technical, character, financial and other qualifications and that the applicant's proposed operating and construction arrangements are adequate and feasible.