[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Westbrook 4-7-1975 (Ch. 35 of the 2007 Code). 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 cable television system within the City, sometimes hereinafter referred to as "the company."
- CABLE TELEVISION SYSTEM
- Any community antenna system or facility that, in whole or in part, receives directly or indirectly over the air and amplifies or otherwise modifies the signals transmitting programs broadcast by one or more television or radio stations 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 City of Westbrook and the area within its territorial City limits and, where applicable, its officers and representatives.
No person, firm, or corporation shall install, maintain or operate within the City or any of its public streets or other public areas any equipment or facilities for the operation of a cable television 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 City may contract on such terms, conditions and fees as are in the best interests of the municipality and its residents with a cable television company for the operation of a cable television system throughout the City, including the granting of an exclusive franchise for the operation thereof for a period not to exceed 10 years.
Applicants for a franchise shall pay a nonrefundable filing fee as set forth in Chapter A400, Master Fee Schedule, to defray the cost of public notice and advertising expenses relating to such applications. The applications shall be filed with the City Clerk and shall contain such information as the City 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 business or corporate organization with a financial statement for the two previous fiscal years, an estimated ten-year financial projection of its proposed system and its proposed annual City franchise fee or the basis for 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 the municipal officers shall review the applicant's character, financial and technical qualifications and the adequacy and feasibility of its qualifications to operate a cable television system throughout the City, and shall conduct a public hearing thereon with at least seven days advertised notice prior to said public hearing.
The company shall secure and file in the office of the City Clerk a performance bond in the amount specified in Chapter A400, Master Fee Schedule, and conditioned upon the full and faithful performance of the duties, undertakings, covenants, terms, conditions and agreements of the Westbrook cable television franchise contract as they relate to the construction of the cable television system. All of the obligations under this performance bond shall become void upon the completion and acceptance by the municipal officers, after reviewing the recommendations of the Cable TV Regulatory Board, of the cable television system in conformance with the said duties, undertakings, covenants, terms, conditions and agreements of the Westbrook cable television franchise contract.
The company shall secure and file evidence of such public liability insurance coverage as the municipal officers may require.
There is hereby established a five-member Cable TV Regulatory Board which shall be composed of residents of the City with one member from each of the five voting wards. Said members shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to the approval of the City Council, and the initial members shall be appointed as follows: two for a term of one year, two for two years, and one for three years. Thereafter, all subsequent appointments, except to fill vacancies, shall be for a term of three years, and they shall serve until their successors are appointed. Persons, or any of their immediate family, who receive any form of remuneration from or who own stock in the cable television company, or its affiliates, shall not be qualified for appointment or for service on said board.
The Board shall have a Chair, Vice Chair, and a Secretary and shall have the following duties:
Adopt such rules and regulations as it may deem necessary for monitoring and regulating the operation of the system, subject to the approval of the Council.
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 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.
All such rules, regulations and orders of the Board shall not be in conflict with those that have been or may be adopted by the Federal Communications Commission for the operation of such systems.