[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Middletown 1-22-1968 (Ch. 22 of the 1971 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The use of the City streets, highways and other property owned by the City of Middletown, for the purpose of installing and running a cable to carry audio and video signals and to connect such installations or other apparatus as may be necessary to permit the connection from the cable to private property in the said City of Middletown, is hereby placed under the supervision and control of the Common Council or designate.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to construct, maintain or operate upon, over or under the public streets and highways and public places in the City of Middletown a line or lines of wire or other conductors or feeders or service wires, or attach said line or wires or cables to any trees owned by the City of Middletown or within the public way, or to maintain and keep the same in repair without the express permission of the Common Council or its designate.
Any permittee shall be entitled to enter into agreements with persons or corporations already holding licenses or franchises with the said City of Middletown for the erection, maintenance and use of poles and cables in the City streets so as to avoid the necessity of encumbering the public streets with additional poles and wires, and copies of such permission and/or agreements shall be filed with the City Clerk. Where there are no poles available, the permittee shall have the right to erect and maintain its own poles, if necessary or convenient, for the proper construction and maintenance of the television distribution system, subject to the prior approval of the Common Council or its designate.
Upon the approval of the Common Council, the City Clerk shall issue a permit to such person, firm or corporation to construct, maintain and operate television cables within the City of Middletown upon the payment of a fee of $50, which permit shall be valid up to the first day of January next following the date of its issuance. If such permit shall not be revoked pursuant to other provisions of this chapter, it shall be reviewed for a period of 10 years, provided the permittee pays an annual fee of $50.
Any person, firm or corporation permitted by the said Common Council to engage in the supplying of television cable reception shall furnish service whenever practicable to all persons desiring the service offered, upon paying for the same at the standard rate, in any area of the City where said cable is installed.
The permittee shall file with the City Clerk a schedule of all its proposed charges and rates for final approval by the Common Council prior to the renewal date of January 1 of each year.
No permittee shall engage in the sale, repair or maintenance of television sets or antennas within the City of Middletown other than the maintenance and repair of the cable television system.
In all street installations, the cables or wires shall be erected in accordance with and with the approval of the utility companies owning the poles or underground ducts, and also in accordance with and with the approval of the City Engineer. Coaxial cables shall be used to carry the television signal along all streets and messenger cable shall be used to carry the coaxial cable across streets. All poles and cables shall be maintained in a safe condition at all times, and all installations shall be made pursuant to and in accordance with the terms and conditions of any and all ordinances of the City of Middletown relating to electrical wires, telephone wires, cables and television wires and cables, which now or hereafter may be adopted by said City. All permittees shall comply with all orders, regulations, rules and recommendations issued by the Commissioner of Public Works and shall be subject to inspection by an Electrical Inspector as provided in Chapter 235 of the City Code at any and all times. The Commissioner of Public Works shall promulgate rules and regulations governing installation of cable television which, upon approval of the Common Council, shall apply. Permittee shall further comply with all applicable rules, regulations, directives and orders of the Federal Communications Commission. Permittees shall procure prior to the commencement of the operation of the service hereunder such permits as may be required by law, if any, from the federal and state regulatory bodies.
[Amended 4-23-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
If it is necessary for a permittee to displace any signal wires of the City of Middletown, and before such work is done, such permittee shall be required to:
Notify the Chief of Police Department and Chief of the Fire Department in writing, and get written permission to displace such signal wires;
Take care of all costs and expenses in connection with the replacement or relocation of such wires: and
Maintain uninterrupted service of the City's signal facilities, if any moving of the facilities is necessary.
The City of Middletown hereby reserves to itself the right and privilege to use and have the use of the permittee's wires, cables and poles for municipal purposes, provided it does not interfere with permittee's use thereof.
All installations of equipment shall be of a permanent nature, of durability, suitability and quality and shall be installed in accordance with recognized engineering practices and in compliance with all ordinances, laws, rules and regulations of the City of Middletown, State of New York and United States of America, so as not to interfere in any manner with the rights of the public or the rights of individual property owners, and said systems shall not interfere with the travel and use of public places during the construction, repair, maintenance or removal thereof.
The City of Middletown and all holders of public licenses and franchises within the corporate limits of the City shall cooperate with the permittee and, whenever possible, and subject to permission from utility companies, shall allow the permittee to jointly use their poles and pole-line facilities; provided that such usage does not interfere with their normal operations, so that the number of its new and additional poles constructed within the boundaries of the City may be minimized. Such cooperation shall include the right by the permittee of joint usage at rates and upon terms agreeable to the parties concerned.
The permittee shall install and maintain its television distribution system so as not to interfere with television reception already in existence.
The permittee shall install and maintain without cost or expense to the City, City School District or all parochial schools, a single tap in connection in and to all public schools or all parochial schools.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation in the installation, maintenance or use of television cable to cause any radio or television interference in any degree.
[Amended 4-23-2007 by L.L. No. 1-2007]
Upon complaint to an Electrical Inspector as provided in Chapter 235 of the City Code, or upon his own initiative, the City may cause to be investigated the cause or causes of radio or television interference disturbing or interfering with radio or television reception. If upon such investigation the source or sources of such alleged disturbance or interference is determined, said Inspector shall give notice in writing to the person, firm or corporation responsible therefor to correct or eliminate the cause of such disturbance or interference within a reasonable time thereafter to be stated in such notice.
Any person, firm or corporation who, within the time fixed in such notice, refuses or neglects to correct or eliminate the cause or causes of such radio or television interference, and who, after such time, knowingly and willfully or maliciously on account of such cause, continues to interfere with the reception of radio messages, communications or broadcasts, shall be subject to pay a fine not exceeding $25 for each offense, and each day on which such offense continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Any permit issued hereunder may be suspended or revoked in the discretion of the Common Council after a hearing held upon due notice given to the permittee upon charges filed by the Electrical Inspector, the Commissioner of Public Works or upon the complaint of residents of the City of Middletown. The permittee may be heard in his defense in person and/or by attorney. If the Common Council is satisfied that the holder of such permit or any of his or its officers or employees willfully or by reason of incompetence has violated any provision of this chapter, local law or any requirement contained in the rules and regulations of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, known as the National Electrical Safety Code or the New York State Board of Fire Underwriters, or any contract agreement between the permittee and users of the television cables.
The Common Council may, in lieu of suspending or revoking a permit hereunder, impose a fine not exceeding $50 for the first offense and not less than $100 nor more than $500 for a subsequent offense and may suspend the permit until such fine is paid, and each day on which such offense continues shall constitute a separate offense.
Any person, firm or corporation receiving a permit to install television cables in the City of Middletown shall file and keep on file with the City Clerk of the City of Middletown the following types of insurance coverage:
Workmen's compensation insurance upon his employees engaged in any manner in the construction, installation or servicing of his plant and equipment within the City of Middletown;
Public liability insurance, insuring said person, firm or corporation in the amount of $100,000 for property damage and $100,000/$300,000 for personal injury or death by reason of the construction, installation, maintenance, servicing or operation of its plant and equipment for installations within the City of Middletown, said policies also to be endorsed to protect the City of Middletown, and to save said City harmless from any loss incurred by it due to any action at law or in equity as a result of any such property damage or personal injury.
Any person, firm or corporation who erects, places or maintains any television cable, messenger cable, poles, screws, amplifier or other apparatus under this chapter shall, in the event said cable is no longer used to provide television reception in the City of Middletown, immediately after order by the Common Council, remove said cable and cables, hooks, screws, poles, amplifiers and other equipment and apparatus from all streets and public places in the City of Middletown as well as from private property upon the request of the owner thereof.
Any permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be automatically revoked and rescinded unless:
The permittee shall, within nine months from the day of the permit, secure all and any necessary permits, agreements and consents which may be required from the appropriate utility companies and such permits as may be required from the Federal Communications Commission; and
Within 180 days thereafter the permittee shall commence construction and installation of cable television facilities; and
Within 270 days thereafter said television cable system shall be in operation.
Each permittee hereunder, in addition to the general liability requirements set forth in § 209-12, shall file with the Treasurer and at all times thereafter maintain in full force and effect for the term of its permit at its expense a corporate surety bond, in a company approved by and in a form satisfactory to the Corporation Counsel, in the amount of $10,000, renewable annually, and conditioned upon the faithful performance of the permittee, and in the event the permittee shall fail to comply with any one or more of the provisions of this chapter, then there shall be recoverable jointly and severally from the principal and surety of such bond any damages or loss suffered by the City as a result thereof, including the full amount of any compensation, indemnification or cost of removal or abandonment of property as prescribed hereby which may be in default, plus a reasonable allowance for attorneys' fees and costs, up to the full amount of the bond; said condition to be a continuing obligation for the duration of his permit and thereafter until the permittee has liquidated all of its obligations with the City that may have arisen from the acceptance of his permit by the permittee or from its exercise of any privilege therein granted. The bond shall provide that 30 days' prior written notice of intention not to renew, cancellation or material change be given to the Treasurer.
Neither the provisions of this section, any bond accepted by the City pursuant thereto, nor any damages recovered by the City thereunder shall be construed to excuse faithful performances by the permittee or limit the liability of the permittee under his permit or for damages, either to the full amount of the bond or otherwise.
The City expressly reserves to itself the authority to grant more than one permit for CATV systems within the City of Middletown, and nothing herein contained shall be construed to grant to any permittee the exclusive right to operate a CATV system.
The permittee shall pay to the City a percentage of the gross receipts paid by residents of the City of Middletown as shall be fixed and determined by agreement between the Common Council and the permittee. The fee shall be calculated on a calendar-year basis, and shall be payable quarterly with annual audit adjustments being made for the full year within 60 days following the end of the year and shall be accompanied by a statement of service revenue received by the permittee from subscribers located within the City.
Notwithstanding the provisions contained herein for the payment of an annual fee to the City, if the Common Council determines that any rate or schedule of fees which a permittee is obligated to pay to any other municipality in Orange County is more favorable than a rate or schedule of fees provided for herein, the City may require and the permittee shall pay fees to the City in accordance with such more favorable rate or schedule. Such revised rate or schedule shall be applicable to revenue received by the permittee on or after the first day of the first month following receipt of a written notice by the applicant of such determination by the Common Council.