Town of Winneconne, WI
Winnebago County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Winneconne 10-20-1994 as Ch. 23 of the 1994 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purpose of this chapter the following terms, phrases, words and their derivation shall have the meaning given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future; words in the plural number include the singular number; and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
ANNUAL GROSS SUBSCRIBER REVENUES
Those revenues derived from the supplying of regular subscriber service, that is, the installation fees, disconnect and reconnect fees and fees for regular cable benefits, including the transmission of broadcast signals and access and origination channels, and revenues derived from per-program or per-channel charges, if any. It does not include revenues derived from leased channel revenues, advertising revenues or any other income derived from the system.
CABLE TELEVISION SYSTEM, CABLE SYSTEM or SYSTEM
A system of coaxial cables or other electrical conductors and transmission equipment used or to be used primarily to receive television or radio signals directly or indirectly off the air and transmit them and other related services to subscribers for various fees.
COMPANY
Anyone granted the franchise in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
TOWN
The Town of Winneconne.
The Town hereby grants to the company a nonexclusive franchise for a period of 15 years, unless sooner terminated pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, to install, operate and maintain throughout the Town in, upon, along, across, above, over and under the streets, alleys, easements (including utility easements), public ways and public places as now laid out or dedicated, and all extensions thereof and additions thereto, a system of wires, cables, underground conduits, ducts, trenches, conductors, amplifying equipment, manholes, fittings and any and all other fixtures, appliances and appurtenances necessary for the installation, ownership, maintenance and operation in the Town of a cable television system for the purpose of distribution of cable television and related services to inhabitants within the limits of the Town. The rights are granted herein by the Town after due consideration and approval by the Town of the legal, character, financial, technical and other qualifications of the company and the adequacy and feasibility of its construction arrangements, as part of a full public proceeding affording due process, which includes specific notice of the consideration of the company's construction policy.
The company shall at all times during the period of this franchise and any renewal thereof be subject to all lawful exercise of the police power by the Town and to such reasonable regulations by the Town as the Town shall provide pursuant to § 138-18 of this chapter. The company shall comply with all laws, statutes, codes, ordinances, rules or regulations applicable to its business, including those of the Federal Communications Commission, and will comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity Act.
A. 
This chapter shall apply to the present territorial limits of the Town and to any area henceforth added thereto during the period of a franchise. Nothing herein contained is intended to preclude the company from extending its cables and equipment to other portions of the Town or outside the Village of Winneconne for the purpose of serving other areas, provided that the company is legally authorized to service the other areas.
B. 
The company shall be required to build in those sections of the Town that meet a density standard of 60 homes per cable mile, including interconnecting trunk.
A. 
Damages and penalties. The company shall pay all damages and penalties which the Town, its officers, boards, commissions, agents and employees may legally be required to pay as a result of the grant of authority to it under the terms of this chapter. These damages or penalties shall be for all damages arising out of the installation, operation and maintenance of the cable system authorized herein, whether or not any act or omission complained of is authorized, allowed or prohibited by this chapter.
B. 
Expenses. The company shall pay all expenses incurred by the Town, its officers, boards, commissions, agents and employees in defending itself with regard to all damages and penalties mentioned in Subsection A above. These expenses shall include all out-of-pocket expenses, such as attorney fees.
C. 
Insurance.
(1) 
The company shall maintain throughout the period of this chapter liability insurance insuring the Town, its officers, boards, commissions, agents and employees and the company in the minimum amount as follows:
(a) 
For personal injury or death resulting from any one occurrence: $1,000,000.
(b) 
For property damage resulting from any one occurrence: $500,000.
(2) 
The insurance policies mentioned above shall contain an endorsement stating that the policies are intended to cover the liability assumed by the grantee under the terms of this chapter and shall contain the following endorsement: "It is hereby understood and agreed that this policy may not be canceled nor the amount of coverage thereof reduced until 30 days after receipt by the Town Clerk by registered mail of two copies of a written notice of such intent to cancel or reduce the coverage."
(3) 
All policies of insurance or certified copies thereof and written evidence of payment of required premiums shall be filed and maintained with the Town Clerk during the term of any franchise granted hereunder or any renewal hereof.
D. 
Application. The company shall apply for the license and permits necessary for the construction and operation of the cable television system herein described within 60 days of the filing of the company's unconditional acceptance of this permit.
A. 
The company shall provide and maintain its services in accordance with the best accepted standards of the industry so as to provide its subscribers with the highest possible level of quality and reliability. The company's service shall include same-day service response seven days a week for all complaints and requests for repair or adjustments received prior to 2:00 p.m. each day. In no event shall the response time for calls received subsequent to 2:00 p.m. exceed 24 hours.
B. 
Whenever it shall be necessary to shut off or interrupt service for the purpose of making repairs, adjustments or installations, the company shall do so at such times as will cause the least amount of inconvenience to its subscribers, if reasonably practical, and unless such interruption is unforeseen and immediately necessary, the company shall give reasonable notice thereof to its subscribers.
C. 
In the event of any interruption of service, whether planned or unforeseen, the company shall proceed with due diligence and restore service as quickly as possible under the circumstances.
D. 
The company shall be responsible for adopting procedures for the investigation and resolution of complaints relating to the operation of the company's cable television system, and the Town shall have no responsibility for the administration and implementation of such procedures. Notice of the procedures for reporting and resolving complaints will be given to each subscriber at the time of initial subscription to the cable system. The company shall maintain an office (customer service center) in Omro, Wisconsin, which is staffed during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, of each week.
E. 
The community antenna, television and audio communication system will be so designed, engineered and maintained by the company as not to interfere with the television reception of the residents of the Town who do not subscribe to its service. Neither the Town nor the company shall require the removal, offer to remove or provide any inducement for removal of any potential or existing subscriber's antenna as a condition of provision of service.
A. 
The company shall establish initial rates and charges for basic service. With the granting of any franchise hereunder, the company may fix all rates and charges for the basic service herein defined, such as:
(1) 
Charges for installation.
(2) 
Subscriber rates.
(3) 
Service charges for separate classification of service (e.g., additional connections, etc.)
B. 
Once established, such rates or charges shall not be changed for a period of two years. Thereafter, rates and charges may be reestablished after due notice.
C. 
Rates and charges for any service, other than the basic service, shall also be filed with the Town Clerk at least 30 days prior to their effective date.
D. 
All rates or charges shall be fair and reasonable and calculated to offset all necessary costs for provision of the services, including a fair rate of return on the company's investment devoted thereto under efficient and economical management.
E. 
Should the company after two years or at any other time during the period that this chapter is in force decide to change its rates, it will, in addition to the notification to the Town Board of the proposed change, agree to appear before the Town Board and make a presentation of the reasons which occasion the change in rates. The company shall make late charges only that are fair and reasonable, and in case such rates are found to be unreasonable and unjust by the Town Board, the Town Board shall have the authority to accept or reject the rate increase. The information supplied by the company to the Town Board in connection with the supervision of rates shall be adequate to fully inform the Town Board as to the income, costs and other factors which must be ascertained on the question of reasonableness of rates.
F. 
Neither the Board nor the company shall, as to rates, charges, service, service facilities, rules, regulations or in any other respect, make or grant any preference or advantage to any person or subject any person to prejudice or disadvantage.
A. 
Company to provide one connection without charge. The company shall provide without charge and upon request within the Town one connection, together with monthly basic service, to such public, parochial, nonprofit, private schools, Town buildings and agency locations as the Town may hereafter designate within 200 feet of the cable system. The Town reserves the right, at its expense, to extend service to as many areas within such school buildings and agencies as it deems desirable without payment of any additional fee to the company.
B. 
Company to provide closed-loop system or equivalent service. The company will provide either a closed-loop system or equivalent service capable of doing the following:
(1) 
Transmission to all educational buildings on a channel not normally received by cable subscribers.
(2) 
Providing input to this system per the school's choice.
A. 
The company shall at all times employ reasonable care in conducting its operations and shall install and use generally accepted methods and devices for preventing failure and accidents which are likely to cause damage, injuries or nuisances to the public.
B. 
The company shall install and maintain its wires, cables, fixtures and other equipment in accordance with the applicable requirements of the National Safety Code and local ordinances.
C. 
The company shall maintain at all times its structures, lines, equipment and connections in, over, under or upon the streets, sidewalks, alleys and public ways or places of the Town, wherever situated or located, in a safe, suitable, substantial condition and in good order and repair.
It shall be the policy of the Town to amend this chapter liberally, upon application of the company, to take advantage of any developments in the field of transmission of television signals and related services which will afford the company an opportunity more effectively, efficiently or economically to serve its customers. The Town shall amend this chapter upon application of the company, when necessary, to enable the company to respond to changes in Federal Communications Commission regulations or other applicable governmental rules or requirements. Such amendments shall be made by the Town within one year from the date of any such changes in such rules, regulations or requirements or at the time of permit renewal, whichever occurs first.
A. 
All transmission and distribution structures, lines and equipment erected by the company within the Town shall be located so as to cause minimum interference with the proper use of streets, alleys and other public ways and places and to cause minimum interference with the rights and reasonable convenience of property owners whose land may adjoin any of the streets, alleys or other public ways and places.
B. 
In case disturbance of any street, sidewalk, alley, public way or paved area is caused by the company's construction or operations, the company shall, at its own cost and expense and in a manner approved by the Town's appropriate authority, replace and restore such street, sidewalk, alley, public way or paved area to a condition as good as its condition before the work causing such disturbance was performed.
C. 
The company shall have the right under the supervision of the Town's appropriate authority to trim trees overhanging streets, alleys, sidewalks and public ways and places of the Town so as to prevent the branches of such trees from coming in contact with the wires and cable of the company or otherwise interfering with the operations of the company, provided that such authority shall be within the Town's legal powers.
D. 
The company shall, at the request of any person holding a building moving permit issued by the Town, temporarily raise or lower its wires to permit the moving of the building. The expense of such temporary removal, raising or lowering of wires shall be paid by the person requesting the same, and the company shall have authority to require such payment in advance. The company shall be given not less than 72 hours' advance notice to arrange for such temporary wire changes.
It is the policy of the Town to minimize the number of utility poles, support structures and conduits within the Town to promote the safety, health, convenience and general welfare of the Town and its inhabitants. Any franchise granted hereunder shall not relieve the grantee of any obligation involved in obtaining pole or conduit use agreements from the gas, electric and telephone companies or others maintaining poles or conduits in the streets or roads of the Town, whenever the company finds it necessary to make use of such poles or conduits. In areas where either telephone or electric utility facilities are aboveground at the time of installation, the company may install its service aboveground, provided that at such time as those facilities are required to be placed underground by the Town or are placed underground, the company shall likewise place its services underground without additional cost to the residents of the Town.
A. 
The company may, in its discretion, require from any subscriber a deposit to guarantee payment of subscriber fees or to secure the safe return in good working order of any equipment provided to the subscriber by the company. Such deposit shall not exceed an amount equivalent to the greater of the maximum bill for subscriber service for 90 days or the replacement value of the equipment. The company shall keep records to show:
(1) 
The name of the subscriber making the deposit.
(2) 
The account number or other identification of the premises occupied by the subscriber when the deposit was made.
(3) 
The amount and date of the deposit.
(4) 
A record of each transaction concerning the deposit.
B. 
Such deposits may be retained by the company as long as required to insure payment of subscriber fees or the return of the equipment. Upon final discontinuance of service, the company may apply such deposit to any amount due from the subscriber for service or damage to or loss of the equipment. Any balance due the subscriber shall be promptly refunded. Prior to final discontinuance of service, deposits guaranteeing payment of subscriber fees may be returned to the subscriber when his credit has been established to the satisfaction of the company.
Upon termination of service to any subscriber, the company shall promptly remove all its facilities and equipment from the premises of such subscriber upon his request.
Any transfer or assignment of the company's rights and obligations under this chapter to a subsidiary of the company shall be made only by an instrument in writing, an executed copy of which shall be filed with the Town within 30 days after such transfer or assignment. Any other transfer or assignment of the company's rights or obligations shall be made only upon written approval of the Town, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld. No consent shall be required for a transfer in trust, mortgage or other hypothecation, in whole or in part, to secure an indebtedness.
Within 90 days after the end of the company's fiscal year, the company shall file with the Town a report showing the gross subscriber revenues received by the company from subscribers in the Town since the preceding report.
The company shall pay to the Town an annual fee in an amount as set by the Town Board. This payment shall be in addition to any other payment owed to the Town by the company and shall not be construed as a payment in lieu of municipal or Town property taxes or other state, county or local taxes. The company shall also pay an application fee as set by the Town Board upon accepting the franchise. The annual fee shall be paid to the Town Clerk on or before March 31 of each year.
A. 
The right is hereby reserved to the Town to adopt, in addition to the provisions contained herein and in existing applicable agreements, such additional regulations as it shall find necessary in the lawful exercise of its police power, provided that such regulations, by ordinance or otherwise, shall be reasonable and not in conflict with the rights herein granted.
B. 
The Town shall have the right to inspect the maps, plans and other like material of the company's cable system at any time during normal business hours.
C. 
The Town shall have the right to supervise all construction or installation work performed subject to the provisions of this chapter and make such inspections as it shall find necessary to ensure compliance with the terms of this chapter and other pertinent provisions of law.
The franchise is revocable by the Town for substantial breach by the company of a material term of the franchise. The Town shall provide written notice to the company of any such breach. If the company fails within 60 days after receipt of such notice to correct such breach, then the Town shall have the right, after a full and complete public hearing, to revoke any or all rights and privileges granted herein; provided, however, that such breach did not result from factors beyond the reasonable control of the company.
A. 
Unauthorized connections prohibited. No person, firm, group, company, corporation or governmental body or agency shall, without the expressed consent of the company, make or possess any connection, extension or division, whether physically, acoustically, inductively, electronically or otherwise, with or to any segment of a franchised community antenna television and audio communications system for any purpose whatsoever.
B. 
Removal or destruction prohibited. No person, firm, group, company, corporation or government body or agency shall willfully interfere or tamper with, remove, obstruct or damage any part, segment or content of a franchised community antenna television and audio communication system.
The company shall have the right to provide service for which a per-program or per-channel charge is made.
A. 
Any firm, person, group, company, corporation or governmental body or agency convicted of a violation of § 135-20 shall, for each offense, forfeit a sum of not less than $10 nor more than $500, together with costs of such prosecution.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
B. 
The company shall have the right at all times to take such legal action as it deems necessary to preserve the security of its cable television system and to assure only authorized use thereof by its subscribers or other persons. Any person who willfully or maliciously damages or causes to be damaged any wire, cable, apparatus or equipment of the company with intent to obtain a signal or impulse therefrom without authorization of the company shall be liable to the company in an amount of $200 per occurrence or actual damage to the equipment, whichever is greater.