[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of Trustees of the Township of Lawrence 4-13-1989 (Ord. No. 12 of the 2005 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
An ordinance granting to Class Communications, Inc., a Michigan corporation, a nonexclusive franchise to construct, operate, and maintain a cable communication system in Lawrence Township for the purpose of receiving, amplifying and distributing television and radio signals and other cable communications service within the Township of Lawrence.
It is hereby granted by the grantor to the grantee a nonexclusive right, privilege and franchise to construct, operate, and maintain a cable television system in the Township of Lawrence, County of Van Buren, Michigan, for an initial franchise term of 15 years from the date of passage of this agreement, and a renewal option of two successive five-year periods. It is expressly understood and agreed, however, that the grant of this franchise is subject to the provisions of Article VII, Sections 19, 27, and 30 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, an all applicable statutes.
The grantor reserves the right to grant one or more franchises for similar uses of streets and roadways to any person at any time.
The grantee at all times shall comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, and adhere to all rules and regulations set forth by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), or its successor agencies.
The grantor shall not at any time be liable for any injury or damage occurring to any person or property from any cause arising from the use, operation, or construction of the grantee's cable system.
The grantee shall indemnify, save and hold harmless the grantor from all liens, charges, claims, demands, suits or other judgments, and liabilities that are connected in any way with the installation, operation, construction or maintenance of the grantee's cable system.
The grantee shall obtain at the time, or within 30 days of construction, and shall keep in force during the entire term of this agreement, and any renewal thereof, a policy of comprehensive insurance as follows:
The grantee shall furnish a certificate of insurance to the grantor's satisfaction for the above, with such insurance to carry the grantor as an also or additional insured.
The cable system shall have a minimum capacity of 60 television channels, having 22 channels of programming available to all subscribers from the cable system's initial activation.
The grantee shall deliver free-of-charge cable service to all Township- or county-owned buildings that are situated in the cabled area, where cable has been laid.
The grantee's cable system shall not interfere in any way with any resident's present television reception.
The cable service shall not be mandatory to any resident, and may be canceled by any subscriber at any time without obligation.
The cable system shall make technical personnel available to respond to all trouble calls within 24 hours.
The cable system shall be technically sound and meet all FCC requirements.
The grantee shall provide without limitation or charge, and without a monthly fee, one connection to the Township Hall building and to all area school buildings, where cable has been laid.
The grantee shall make available a toll-free or local telephone number to be answered 24 hours a day to receive customer complaints, and response to complaints will be generally made within one business day (Monday through Friday) of the complaint date.
If the grantee must go overhead with cable, the grantor agrees to allow the grantee the right to trim branches, where necessary, to keep lines free and clear for periodic maintenance.
The grantor will recognize, in case of default, any financial institution that the grantor borrows from for the purpose of financing this project to be holder of this agreement.
The grantee shall move any of its facilities at no charge for the grantor if the grantor so requests 72 hours in advance.
The grantee shall move any of its facilities for the relocation of a house or other purposes not owned by the grantor and charge the relocating party actual time and material for such relocation.
The grantee shall restore any property owned by the grantor or any property owner, which may be disrupted by the installation of the grantee's cable system solely at the grantee's own expense.
Any breach, violation, or failure to abide by the provisions of this franchise shall be cause for termination, providing that the grantor notifies the grantee of such breach or violation, in writing, and allows the grantee 90 days to correct such violation to the satisfaction of the grantor. It is expressly understood and agreed, however, that this franchise is subject to the provisions of Article VII, Sections 19, 27 and 30 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, and all applicable statutes.
Nothing contained in this franchise shall exempt the grantee from any state or local tax, levy, or assessment which is or may be hereafter authorized by law.
The grantee shall not transfer, authorize, or assign controlling interest of its cable system without the expressed written consent of the grantor, provided such consent shall not be unreasonably withheld. Transfer of this franchise to affiliated companies of Class Communications, Inc. is hereby authorized.
Unless preempted by a federal law or regulatory body, pursuant to federal law, the grantee may, subject to the approval of the Township Board, adjust the rates for cable television service as may be necessary, providing all subscribers are notified of any change at least 30 days prior to the effective date of such rate change and the filing of such rate change with the Township Clerk prior to such rate changes taking effect. Any proposed rate changes shall first be submitted to the Township Board for review and approval or rejection. Upon receipt, thereof, the Board shall conduct a hearing thereon at its next regularly scheduled public meeting or at a special meeting scheduled therefore pursuant to statute in such case made and provided. At such hearing, the grantee may submit such other evidence and testimony as it deems necessary and pertinent to the issue of rate change and the Board, prior to making its determination, shall allow any interested Township resident to speak thereon and to present such evidence and testimony as such resident has to offer pertinent to the issue. The decision of the Township Board thereon shall be final. Any cost for publication or charge for a special meeting shall be paid by the grantee.
The initial rates for cable service shall be as follows:
In consideration of the grant of this franchise, the grantee shall pay to the Township franchise fees of 5% of the gross cable revenues. Such sum shall be paid to the Township no later than February 1 and August 1 of each year, of the preceding six months. The subscriber reports of the grantee will be made available to the Township Board and its accountants for review and examination upon demand at any reasonable hour in relation to the collection and payment of the annual franchise fee.
Class Communications, Inc. shall signify its acceptance of this franchise by filing a written notification thereof with the Township Board within 30 days from the adoption of this chapter and approval by the Township supervisor. The franchise shall become effective on the date such acceptance is received by the Township Board.