[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Cumberland 4-28-1980. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CABLE TELEVISION COMPANY
- Any person, firm or corporation owning, controlling, operating, managing or leasing a CATV system within the Town of Cumberland, sometimes hereinafter referred to as "the company."
- Any community antenna television system or facility that, in whole or in part, receives directly or indirectly over the air and amplifies or otherwise modifies signals transmitting programs broadcast by one or more television or radio stations, or originates its own signal or signals produced through any of its community access channels, and distributes such signals by wire or cable to subscribing members of the public who pay for such services, but such term shall not include any such facility that serves only the residents of one or more apartment dwellings under common ownership, control or management.
- The Town of Cumberland organized and existing under the laws in the State of Maine and the area within its territorial limits.
No person, firm or corporation shall install, maintain or operate within the Town or any of its public streets or other public areas any equipment or facilities for the operation of a CATV system unless a franchise authorizing the use of said public streets or areas has first been obtained pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and unless said franchise is in full force and effect.
The municipal officers of the Town may contract on such terms, conditions and fees as are in the best interest of the municipality and its residents with one or more cable television companies for the operation of a CATV system within the Town, including the granting of a franchise or franchises for the operation thereof for a period not to exceed 10 years.
Applicants for a franchise shall pay a nonrefundable filing fee to the Town established by order of the Town Council to defray the cost of public notice and advertising expenses relating to such application. The application shall be filed with the Town Clerk and shall contain such information as the Town may require; including but not limited to a general description of the applicant's proposed operation, a schedule of proposed charges, a statement detailing its previous two fiscal years, an estimated ten-year financial projection of its proposed system and its proposed annual Town franchise fee or the basis for the same, and a statement detailing the prior operational experience of the applicant in both CATV and microwave service, including that of its officers, management and staff to be associated with the proposed operation.
Said franchise contract may be revoked by the municipal officers for good and sufficient cause after due notice to the company and a public hearing thereon, with the right to appeal to the Cumberland County Superior Court under Rule 80-B of the Court Rules of Civil Procedure in accordance with due process.
Before authorizing the issuance of any such franchise contract or contracts, the municipal officers shall review the applicant's character and financial and technical qualifications and the adequacy and feasibility of its qualifications to operate a CATV system within the Town and shall conduct a public hearing thereon with at least seven days' advertised notice prior to said public hearing.
Upon the execution of any such franchise contract, the cable television company shall file a surety company performance bond in the amount of $50,000 conditioned upon the faithful performance of said contract and full compliance with any laws, ordinances, or regulations governing said franchise and also evidence of such public liability insurance coverage as the municipal officers may require. Said performance bond shall be reduced to $25,000 upon the completion of the installation of said system as per said contract.
The Town Manager is hereby authorized to enter into an interlocal agreement with the Towns of Falmouth and Yarmouth for the purpose of establishing a CATV regulatory board. The CATV regulatory board shall have a chairman, vice chairman, and a secretary and shall have the following duties. It shall:
Adopt such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary for monitoring and regulating the operation of the system, said rules and regulations being subject to the approval of the town council of each town which is a signatory to the interlocal agreement mentioned above.
Make recommendations to the cable television company concerning educational and local interest programming.
Resolve complaints, disputes, or disagreements between subscribers and the company.
Have the authority to conduct public hearings and issue such appropriate orders as it may deem necessary to correct any deficiencies in the operation of said system. The Board's decisions and findings shall be final and binding upon all parties, including the company, except that such a decision or finding may be appealed to the municipal officers and/or to the Cumberland County Superior Court under said Rule 80-B.
Regulate rates and charges to subscribers of the cable television company pursuant to such terms, conditions and criteria as are agreed upon in the franchise agreement.
Prepare specifications for bids for CATV franchises and invite bids for said franchises. Upon receipt of bids, it shall study the same and make recommendations on the awarding of a franchise, said recommendations being subject to the approval of each town council of each town which is a signatory to the interlocal agreement mentioned above.
After the awarding of the franchise, negotiate the franchise agreement between the company and the municipalities which are signatories to the interlocal agreement as mentioned above, said recommendations being subject to the final and full approval of each municipality.