[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Franklin as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-4-2011 by Bylaw Amendment 11-659]
The purpose of this article is to advance the public health, safety, convenience, and welfare of the Town by the adoption of a program requiring removal of utility poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures in a portion of the Downtown area.
For purposes of this article, the definitions of "person," "poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures" and "utility" shall be the same definitions as those set forth in MGL c. 166, § 22A.
Any utility presently owning or operating poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures in the Town along Main Street from its intersection with East Central Street to its intersection with Depot Street, including the areas within each intersection, shall begin to remove such poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures following the effective date of this article in accordance with MGL c. 166, § 22D.
Any utility that fails to remove any poles or overhead wires and associated overhead structures required to be removed pursuant to § 135-3A of this article shall be punished by fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $5,000 for each consecutive fifteen-day period during which such failure continues; provided, however, that no utility shall have been deemed to have violated this article, provided that:
If replacement facilities for poles or overhead wires and associated overhead structures required to be removed will be needed in order for a utility to continue its service, the utility shall, within 60 days after the effective date of this article, petition the Town Council pursuant to MGL c. 166, § 22 for permission to install, erect, or construct under the public ways replacement facilities for such poles and overhead wires and associated structures; and
The utility shall file with the Town a plan (which shall be consistent with Subsection A of this section) for removal of poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures and, if needed, for the continuation of its service, for their replacement with underground facilities; and
In each calendar year beginning with the calendar year next following the effective date of this article, and until all such poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures shall have been removed, the utility shall, in carrying out its plan, allocate and expend for the direct cost of demolition and construction (over and above the reasonable value of salvage) an amount which shall not be less than 2% of its gross revenues derived during the next preceding calendar year from its customers in the Town; and
The utility shall, on or before the last day of March in each year, file with the Town a statement signed under the penalties of perjury, by its Treasurer setting forth in detail, the amounts spent by the utility during the immediate preceding calendar year in carrying out its plan, the purposes for which such expenditures were made, and the gross revenues derived from its customers in the Town during the immediately preceding calendar year; provided, however, that no utility which enters into a cooperation agreement under MGL c. 166, § 22E shall be deemed to have violated this article during the term such payments are to be made, so long as said utility shall not be in default of said cooperation agreement.
Notwithstanding the effective date of this article, a utility may, in its sole discretion, cooperate with the Town's plans for early construction and may commence the removal of its poles, overhead wires and associated overhead structures and proceed to perform the undergrounding work following this article's adoption and prior to its effective date. Any such early cooperation by any utility will be subject to the utility's rights to recover its expenditures and impose and collect a billing surcharge under MGL c. 166, §§ 22D and 22M.
Any utility in providing underground replacement facilities for any poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures shall install customer's service facilities, as defined in MGL c. 166, § 22I. In all other respects the provision of customer's service facilities shall be the responsibility of the person owning, operating, leasing or renting abutting property, subject to applicable rules, regulations and tariffs of the utility on file with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities and to the requirements of applicable laws, ordinances and bylaws. If the person owning, operating, leasing or renting said property fails to provide such customer's service facilities which are his responsibility prior to the time for removal of the poles and overhead wires and associated overhead structures of the utility, the Town Engineer shall have the authority to order the disconnection and removal of any and all overhead service wires and associated facilities supplying utility service to said property at the expense of the person owning, operating, leasing or renting said property, and the Town shall have a claim against said person for the cost thereof and a lien against said property to secure said claim.