Township of Raccoon, PA
Beaver County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Raccoon 4-9-1996 by Ord. No. 96-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
Statement of intent and purpose. The Board of Supervisors of the Township of Raccoon intends, by the adoption of this ordinance, to authorize the operation of a cable system by Three Rivers Cable Associates, L.P., its successors or assigns, within the Township territorial boundaries.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Authority. To the extent that the same may be lawfully given and subject to the provisions of any and all acts of the general assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and regulations issued thereunder, now or in the future, and insofar as the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has delegated to the Township the authority to grant a franchise for cable system operation and other communication and information services within the Township territorial boundaries, in consideration of the faithful performance and observation of the conditions and reservations mutually agreed upon herein, the Township hereby exercises its authority to grant a nonexclusive franchise permitting the operation of a cable system within the Township.
This ordinance shall be known and cited as the "Township of Raccoon Cable Franchise Ordinance." Within this document it shall also be referred to as "this franchise."
For the purpose of this franchise, the following terms, phrases, words, and their derivations shall have the meaning given herein. Words not defined shall be given their common and ordinary meaning.
CABLE SERVICE TERRITORY
The area to be served by Three Rivers Cable Associates, L.P. which includes the Township of Raccoon, Beaver County, Pennsylvania.
FCC
The Federal Communications Commission.
GRANTEE
Three Rivers Cable Associates, L.P. and its successors, transferees, or assigns.
GROSS REVENUES
Any and all compensation and other consideration received directly by the company from subscribers in payment for regularly furnished basic service and Cable Value service. "Gross annual basic subscriber revenues" shall not include any taxes or services furnished by the company imposed directly on any subscriber or user by any borough, state, or other governmental unit and collected by the company for such governmental unit.
OWNER
A person with a legal or equitable interest in ownership of real property.
PERSON
Any corporation, partnership, proprietorship, individual or organization, governmental organization, or any natural person.
PUBLIC PROPERTY
Any real property owned by the Township, other than a street.
STREET
The surface of and the space above and below any public street, road, highway, freeway, lane, path, public way, alley, court, sidewalk, boulevard, parkway, drive, or any easement or right-of-way, alley, court, sidewalk, boulevard, parkway, drive, or any easement or right-of-way now or hereafter held by the Township, or dedicated to the Township, or to general public use.
SUBSCRIBER
Any person or entity who subscribes to service provided by grantee by means of the system.
SYSTEM
A system of antennas, cables, wires, lines, towers, waveguides, or other conductors, converters, equipment, or facilities used for distributing video programming to home subscribers, and/or producing, receiving, amplifying, storing, processing, or distributing audio, video, digital, or other forms of electric signals to subscribers.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Raccoon, Beaver County, Pennsylvania
A. 
Grant of franchise. For the purpose of providing cable service and other communications and information services, grantee may erect, install, construct, repair, replace, reconstruct, and retain in, on, over, under, upon, across, and along the streets and public property such lines, cables, conductors, ducts, conduits, vaults, manholes, amplifiers, appliances, pedestals, attachments, and other property and equipment as are necessary and appropriate to cable and information services. Grantee is also authorized to utilize public rights-of-way and to utilize easements within the Township which have been dedicated for compatible uses, as provided for in Section 621(a)(2) of the Cable Communications Policy Act.
B. 
Franchise term. The initial term of this franchise shall commence on April 9, 1996, and shall expire 10 years from said date, unless renewed as herein provided.
C. 
Conditions of franchise. The rights afforded to grantee by § A189-4A and B are granted subject to the conditions hereinafter provided.
A. 
Technical requirements. Grantee shall construct and maintain a system that meets at least the technical standards applied by the FCC. Procedures for testing technical capacity of the system shall conform with the technical and testing standards applied to cable systems by the FCC.
B. 
Interference with reception outside cable system. Grantee's installation shall be installed, maintained and operated in a manner which shall not interfere with television or radio reception by means other than by the cable-type systems.
A. 
Service area. In new housing districts, areas with occupancy densities of more than 30 homes per mile which are contiguous to the system will be provided with access to service within 12 months of occupation, to the extent service is economically feasible and technically possible. In areas with less than 30 homes per mile, service shall be offered in conformance with grantee's service extension policies.
B. 
Construction requirements. Grantee shall make use of existing poles and other facilities available to grantee. Grantee may also erect its own poles and install its own conduit. All poles and conduit installed within the Township shall be made available for attachment or use by grantee, at just and reasonable rates applied to public utilities under the formula presently established in 47 U.S.C. §224.
C. 
Construction codes and permits. Grantee shall obtain any required permits from the Township before commencing construction involving the opening or disturbance of any street or public property. Grantee shall comply with all applicable building and zoning codes.[1] Grantee shall arrange its lines, cables, and other appurtenances, on any street or public property, in such a manner as to cause no unreasonable interference with the usual and customary use of said street or public property.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 73, Building Construction, and Ch. 185, Zoning, respectively.
D. 
Repair of streets and public property. Any and all streets or public property which are disturbed or damaged during the construction, operation, or maintenance of the system shall be promptly repaired by grantee, at its expense and to the condition prior to the disturbance or damage.
E. 
Movement of facilities. In the event it is necessary temporarily to move or remove any of grantee's wires, cables, poles, or other facilities placed pursuant to this franchise, in order lawfully to move a large object, vehicle, building, or other structure over the streets of the Township, upon two weeks notice by the Township to grantee, grantee shall move, at the expense of the person requesting the temporary removal, such of his franchise as may be required to facilitate such movements.
F. 
Prudent installation and operation. Grantee agrees that its installation and operation shall be installed, located, and maintained so as not to endanger or interfere with the life and property of any person of thing; nor interfere with improvements which the Township may deem proper; nor hinder or obstruct the free use of streets, alleys, bridges, or other public or private property. In the event the Township relocates a street or makes any other change requiring the removal of utility installations, or in the event grantee does interfere with the public or private property of others, grantee, at its sole expense, will remove its installation at this location. In the event that any other utility is reimbursed by the Township for the placement of cable underground or the movement of cable, grantee shall be reimbursed on the same terms and conditions.
A. 
Maintenance and complaints.
(1) 
Grantee shall maintain a toll-free number available 24 hours a day to accept service calls and complaints from subscribers.
(2) 
Grantee shall render efficient service, make repairs promptly, and interrupt service only for good cause.
(3) 
Any complaints from subscribers shall be investigated and acted upon as soon as possible.
B. 
Safety.
(1) 
Grantee shall at all times take reasonable precautions for preventing failures and accidents which are likely to cause damage or injury to the public, to employees of grantee, and to public or private property.
(2) 
All lines, equipment, and facilities within the Township shall at all times be kept and maintained in a safe and suitable condition, and in good order and repair.
C. 
Subscriber Practices.
(1) 
Grantee shall not deny service, deny access, or otherwise discriminate against subscribers on the basis of race, color, religion, natural origin, sex, or age. Grantee shall adhere to the equal employment opportunity requirements of the FCC.
(2) 
Grantee may conduct promotional campaigns in which standard rates are uniformly discounted or waived.
(3) 
Grantee may make special contracts for nonprofit, charitable, educational, governmental, and religious organizations.
(4) 
Grantee may offer bulk rate discounts for multiple dwellings, hotels, motels, and similar institutions.
(5) 
Grantee at the request of a subscriber will provide, at cost, a lockout device in order to restrict the viewing of obscene or "indecent" programming.
A. 
Amount. Grantee shall annually pay 3% of gross revenues, as a franchise fee to be collected by the Township. The foregoing payment shall be compensation for use of streets and other public property.
B. 
Payment Periods. Payments shall be submitted quarterly on or before January 31, April 30, July 31 and October 31 of each year.
C. 
Verification. A report verifying Gross Revenues shall be submitted by grantee annually on or before April 15 of each year.
A. 
Laws governing. This franchise shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and applicable federal law.
B. 
Notice of violation. The Township shall provide grantee with a detailed written notice of any franchise violation upon which it proposes to take action, and a thirty-day period within which grantee may cure an alleged violation. This thirty-day period shall not begin to toll in the event the alleged violation is beyond the grantee's control or the grantee is diligently pursuing corrective action. Grantee may, within 15 days of receiving such notice, notify the Township that there is a dispute as to whether a violation has, in fact, occurred. Such notice by grantee to the Township shall detail the matters disputed by grantee. The Township shall hear grantee's dispute at the next regularly scheduled Council meeting. The Township and grantee shall bear their own costs and attorney's fees.
C. 
Indemnity.
(1) 
Grantee shall indemnify and hold harmless the Township at all times during the term of this franchise, from and against all claims, and including reasonable attorneys' fees and legal costs, for injury or damage to persons or property, both real and personal, caused by the construction, erection, operation, and maintenance of the system.
(2) 
It is expressly understood that the Township has no control, standard or regulation pertaining to the subject matter of programs distributed by grantee. Grantee agrees to indemnify and save harmless the Township, its officers and employees from all claims, suits and actions at law or equity for libel, slander, patent or copyright infringements; that in the event the Township is made a party to Defendant in any action arising out of the subject matter of programs transmitted by grantee, grantee shall at its sole cost and expense defend such action and appeals therefrom, including those involving the Township.
D. 
Liability Insurance. Throughout the term of this franchise, grantee shall maintain a policy of liability insurance covering the grantee, and naming the Township as an additional insured, in the minimum amounts of:
(1) 
$1,000,000 for property damage in any one occurrence;
(2) 
$1,000,000 for bodily injury to any one person; and
(3) 
$1,000,000 for bodily injury in any one occurrence.
E. 
Other remedies.
(1) 
From and after the effective date of franchise, it shall be unlawful for any person to establish, operate, or to carry on the business of distributing to any persons in the cable service territory any television signals or radio signals by means of a system unless a franchise therefore has first been obtained pursuant to the provisions of this ordinance, and unless such franchise is in full force and effect.
(2) 
No person shall interrupt or receive signals from the system unless specifically authorized to do so by grantee.
(3) 
No person shall tamper with, remove, or injure any cable, wires, or equipment used with the system unless specifically authorized to do so by grantee.
(4) 
No person shall intentionally deprive grantee of a lawful charge for cable service.
(5) 
No person shall resell grantee's cable services without grantee's express, written consent.
(6) 
The Township and grantee are expressly reserved their applicable rights and remedies available in law or in equity.
F. 
Conditions of Access. In addition to the provisions of § A189-4A, no party who owns or controls any residential multiple-dwelling unit, trailer park, condominium, or apartment complex, or subdivision, shall interfere with the right of any tenant or lawful resident thereof to receive service from grantee.
A. 
Variance. Applications for a variance to this franchise, to accommodate a significant change in circumstances, to prevent unreasonable hardship to grantee, or to permit technical variations which will satisfy the purpose of this franchise, may be made by the grantee to the Township. The Township shall review the application within 14 calendar days, or the earliest meeting of the Township's Board of Supervisors, and shall issue a report of the findings of the Township and shall act on a request within 30 days.
B. 
Franchise renewal. This franchise shall be renewed for a period of 10 years upon written notice by grantee to the Township, at least six months prior to the expiration of the franchise term set forth in § A189-4B. A renewal of the franchise may be negotiated by either party, regardless of how many years are remaining on the original franchise; provided, however, that no renewal shall have the effect of reducing the total number of years authorized under this franchise agreement and provided that a public hearing be held in accordance with the provisions of the FCC Rules and Regulations to allow the public the opportunity to be heard prior to the time the franchise is received. Grantee's application for franchise renewal shall be granted provided:
(1) 
Grantee shows that its cable service during the preceding franchise period has reflected a good faith effort to serve the needs and interests of its service area within the Township; and
(2) 
Grantee has not demonstrated a callous disregard of the law and all pertinent regulations.
(3) 
Grantee reserves all renewal rights under the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984.
A. 
Severability. If any law, ordinance, regulation, or court decision shall render any provision of this franchise invalid, the remaining provisions of the franchise shall remain in full force and effect.
B. 
Force-majeure. Prevention or delay of any performance under this franchise due to circumstances beyond the control of grantee or the Township, unforeseen circumstances, or Acts of God, shall not be deemed noncompliance with or a violation of this franchise.
C. 
More favorable terms. In the event that the Township approves or permits a system to operate in the cable service territory on terms more favorable than those contained in this franchise, such more favorable terms shall be applicable in this franchise.
D. 
Regulatory bodies. Grantee shall conduct the operation of its business in accordance with the rules, regulations, and statutes, as amended from time to time, of the Federal Communications Commission and any other duly authorized federal, state, or local authority having jurisdiction. In particular, the grantee shall, at all times, comply with the rules and regulations governing cable television operations promulgated by the FCC, specifically those set out in the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, and of the FCC Rules and Regulations, and any FCC Rules and Regulations regarding technical and engineering specifications involved in the construction of the CATV system and signal carriage thereon.
E. 
Modification of FCC Rules. Consistent with the requirements of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984, and of the FCC Rules, any modification of the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 resulting from amendment thereto by the FCC shall be, to the extent applicable, considered as a part of this franchise as of the effective date of the amendment made by the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 and the FCC.
F. 
Repealer. All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
A duplicate original of this ordinance shall be delivered to grantee and upon its due execution by the grantee, this ordinance shall comprise the franchise agreement between the Township and the grantee.
This ordinance shall be effective immediately.