[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of Trustees of the Township of Lawrence 5-13-1982 (Ord. No. 9 of the 2005 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
An ordinance granting to Liberty TV Calbe, Inc., a Delaware corporation, hereinafter called the "grantee," a franchise to stretch wire and cable and appurtenant structures over and under the streets and alleys of the Township of Lawrence and to maintain and use the same as a coaxial cable distribution system for television distribution to subscribers' residences and to business and public establishments for 15 years and regulating the rate of such service.
Pursuant to full consideration and approval of the grantee's legal, character, financial, technical and other qualifications, and the adequacy, feasibility and extent of its construction arrangements, and as part of a full public proceeding affording due process, the Township of Lawrence, hereinafter called the "grantor," does hereby grant to Liberty TV Cable, Inc., and to its successors and assigns, the rights, privilege and authority and franchise to operate in, over, upon and under the streets, alleys and highways, and to erect other appurtenances and to maintain and use the same as coaxial cable system for distribution of television, radio and other signals into subscribers' homes and to business establishments within and throughout the Township.
The grantee shall not transfer the franchise to another person without prior approval from the grantor.
All work, excavation, erection of poles and appliances and laying of wires and the operation and maintenance of the grantee's system shall be done in compliance with the necessary rules, regulations, ordinances, or orders which may, during the continuance of this franchise, be adopted from time to time by the Township.
The word "necessary," as used in the foregoing paragraph, shall mean such rules, regulations, and ordinances or orders as the Township Board may deem necessary to protect and safeguard the health, safety and convenience of the public and any member of the public residing within the Township who might be affected by an excavation work or installation of the grantee, or maintenance, use and operation of its television distributing system.
If at any future time the Township Board requires the cable under this franchise be placed underground as part of the underground wiring system, no cost of removing or moving said cable underground shall be paid by the Township; provided, however, that grantee shall not be required to place any of its cable underground except in those areas where both the telephone and electric power service facilities are required to be underground or may hereafter be required to place facilities underground; and provided further that in new developments, or in those places where a subscriber or property owner requests that service connections be placed underground, trenching costs (or a fractional share of joint trench costs based upon relatively required trench dimensions of joint users) for underground installations may be charged to and will be borne by the developers, subscribers, or property owners; and provided further that in underground installations, amplifier and subscriber tapoff devices may nevertheless be placed in appropriate housings on or above the surface of the ground.
All cables, wires, antennas or other appurtenances shall be constructed and erected in a workmanlike manner.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the Township from sewer, planking, bridging, grading, altering, or otherwise improving any of the streets of the Township. This chapter shall further not be so construed as to deprive the Township of any rights and privileges which it has now or which may be conferred upon it to regulate the use and control of streets. The Township shall further have, at all times, the right to make use of the poles of said grantee for wires, cables, or conductors for any and all Township-owned wire system, provided that such use does not conflict with grantee's prior occupancy.
In the event any of the grantee's poles, cables, wires or other appurtenances interfere with any future use that the Township desires to make of its streets or alleys, the grantee shall, at its own expense, promptly relocate such poles, cables, wires or other appurtenances upon being notified to do so. Whenever the grantee, its successors and assigns shall disturb any of the streets for the purpose aforesaid, it or they shall restore the same to good order and condition as soon as practicable without unnecessary delay, and failing to do so, the grantor shall have the right to fix a reasonable time limit within which such repairs and restoration of street shall be completed, and upon failure of such repairs being made by said grantee, its successors and assigns, the Township shall have the right to make such repairs and to be reimbursed by the grantee, its successors and assigns.
All construction hereby authorized shall conform to the requirements of the National Electrical Code as developed by the American National Standards Institute, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Code, and all other applicable laws, ordinance rules and regulations of the Township and the State of Michigan, as from the time to time amended.
The grantee shall during the continuance of this grant provide facilities and service sufficient at least to meet the rules and regulations and technical standards of the Federal Communications Commission.
Whenever any person has obtained permission of the proper Township officials to use any of the streets of said Township for the purpose of moving any building, the said grantee, its successors and assigns, upon prior notice of at least two regular business days from such person and his paying the actual costs thereof, shall raise or remove any and all of the said wires or cables which may obstruct the moving of such building so as to allow the unobstructed passage of the same.
Neither the Township nor any of its employees shall be held liable for the consequence of any act done in connection with the moving of said building or rearrangement of wires or for the cost of rearranging the wires.
In the case it shall be necessary to cut or remove any of the said wires, cable or other appurtenances or equipment of the said grantee in order to get fire ladders or other apparatus to a building during a Township conflagration, the said Township shall not be liable for any damage done to such wires, cables, conductors, or equipment.
The grantee shall have the authority to trim trees upon and overhanging Township streets, alleys, sidewalks and other public places in order to prevent the branches of such trees from contacting the grantee's wires, cables and equipment, provided that such trimming be done under the supervision and direction of the Township and at the expense of the grantee.
This franchise shall be for a period of 15 years after the effective date of this chapter, with grantee having an option to renew for an additional 15 years upon application by the grantee at least six months prior to the expiration hereof and upon approval by the grantor as part of a full public proceeding affording due process.
This franchise is governed by and subject to all applicable rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission. Any modifications of the provisions of 47 CFR 67.31 of the Rules and Regulations of the Federal Communications Commission governing franchise standards shall be incorporated into this chapter by the Township and grantee within one year of the adoption of the modifications, or at the time of the next franchise renewal, whichever occurs first. It shall be the obligation of the grantee, upon notification of any change in this rule, to notify the Township of these changes.
Grantee shall indemnify and save the Township free and harmless from any and all liability loss, cost, damage or expense from accident or damage, either to itself or to persons or property of others which may occur by reason of the exercise of the rights and privileges herein granted and shall, for the purpose of carrying out the provision of this section, and prior to commencing construction of any kind, have in full force and effect and file evidence thereof with the Township Supervisor a good and sufficient policy (or policies) covering bodily injury with the limits of $2,000,000 personal injury each person, $500,000 personal injury each accident and property damage with limits of $50,000 each accident and $100,000 aggregate, with said policy (or policies) to be executed by an insurance company (or companies) authorized and qualified to do business in the State of Michigan and conditioned to indemnify and save harmless the Township from and against any and all claims, actions, suits, liability, loss, cost, expense or damage of any kind or description which may occur to or be suffered by the Township or by anyone by reason of anything that has been done by the grantee thereunder which may in any way cause liability by reason thereof.
The grantee shall pay and by its acceptance of this franchise specifically agrees that it will pay all expenses incurred by the grantor in defending itself with regard to all damages and penalties mentioned in Subsection A above. These expenses shall include all out-of-pocket expenses, such as attorneys' fees, and shall also include the reasonable value of any services rendered by the grantor's attorney, or his assistants or of any employees of the grantor.
The Township declines to exercise its option to set or approve subscriber rates. The company may modify its subscriber rates without seeking or obtaining prior approval by the Township.
The grantee shall at all times fully and faithfully perform all the terms, provisions, and conditions of this franchise and grant and furnish service, meeting at least the minimum requirements and technical standards of the Federal Communications Commission and maintain its property in good order and repair throughout the entire term of the grant, and upon default by the grantee hereunder of any of the provisions of this franchise or upon regulations or orders of the grantor and the continuance of such default or failure for a period of 30 days after written notice setting forth in detail the exact nature of such default or failure, such notice to be sent to the corporation headquarters of the grantee, said Township may by resolution, and for good cause shown and such default not corrected, terminate this grant or franchise hereunder, and in case of said forfeiture, the grantee shall have 120 days to remove all of its wires, cables or other appurtenances from said streets and alleys, and any not so removed within said time shall become the property of the grantor.
The grantee shall not as to rates, charge service facilities rules, regulations, or in any other respect make or grant a preference or advantage, provided that nothing in this franchise chapter shall be deemed to prohibit the establishment of a graduated scale of charges and classified rate schedules to which any customer coming within such classification would be entitled.
The grantee shall maintain a business office with a toll-free telephone listing, so located that maintenance service shall be promptly available to subscribers upon request. Notice of the procedures adopted by the grantee and the Township for the investigation and resolution of all complaints regarding the grantee's TV cable operations (a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A) shall be given to each subscriber at the time of initial subscription to the cable system. Any person having a complaint regarding the grantee's operations may direct such complaint to the grantee or, if not satisfied with the grantee's disposition of such complaint, to the Township Supervisor, Township Hall, Lawrence, Michigan 49064, who shall have primarily responsibility for the continuing administration of this franchise and implementation of complaint procedures.
The grantee shall provide one free installation, connection, and service therefore to each public school and municipal building located within the corporate limits of the Township of Lawrence.
The company shall pay to the Township to defray the Township's cost of administering this franchise a sum equivalent to 3% of the annual gross subscriber revenues taken in and received by it from delivery of television signals within the Township. For the purpose of this franchise, gross subscriber revenues shall be limited to that revenue the licensee receives as a result of providing its customers with regular subscriber services, and shall not include revenues derived from per-program or per-channel charges, leased channel revenue, advertising revenues, or any other income derived from the system. The franchise fee set forth herein shall be due and payable in cash in full within 60 days following the close of each fiscal year of the company.
The grantee, subject to the provisions contained in §§ 9-2 to 9-5 herein, is authorized to construct and operate the cable television system in any and all areas of the Township, and it shall, upon request, extend its facilities to any and all such areas; provided, however, if in the opinion of the grantee such an extension is economically impracticable, the grantee may seek financial assistance from the developer, contractor, subscriber, or property owner requesting service before it is required to enter into any new construction. Once construction has begun, however, erection of new facilities shall be completed without unreasonable delay. Disputes, if any, concerning the meaning of "economically impracticable" as used herein shall be subject to review by the Township Board.
Upon enactment of this chapter, either of the following actions by any person, corporation or unincorporated association shall be unlawful and subject to criminal penalty as described in Subsection D below:
The unauthorized connection, whether physically, electronically, acoustically, inductively or otherwise, with any part of a licensed CATV system with the Township for the purpose of taking or receiving television or radio signals, pictures, programs or sounds, or for the purpose of enabling others to receive such signals, pictures, programs or sounds.
The willful tampering with, removal of, or injury to any cables, wires or equipment used for distribution of television or radio signals, pictures, programs or sounds without the consent of the system owner.
Violators of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and each and every day or portion thereof during which any violation of any of the provisions of the section is committed, continued, or permitted, shall be deemed a separate offense, and upon conviction of any such violation, such violator shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $100 and/or 90 days' imprisonment. Any equipment or structure erected or maintained and any work commenced or continued in violation of this chapter shall be and is hereby declared unlawful, and the Township Board shall institute necessary legal proceedings for the abatement, removal or enjoinment thereof in the manner provided by law and shall take such other steps as may be necessary to accomplish these ends.
The grantee, upon the retirement of its operating equipment, shall install and maintain equipment equal to or approximating the capability of then-current CATV technology to the extent that this is practicable and economically feasible.
If any sections, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase, or portion of this chapter is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity or constitutionality of the remaining portions thereof.
The grantee shall signify its acceptance of this franchise by filing written notification thereof with the Township Board within 30 days from final passage of this chapter by the Township Board and approval by the Township Supervisor. The franchise shall become effective on the date such acceptance is received by the Township Board.