[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of Trustees of the Township of Lawrence 4-12-1984 (Ord. No. 10 of the 2005 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
An ordinance granting Van Buren County Cablevision, a Michigan corporation, herein called "VBCC," 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.
Van Buren County Cablevision shall have nonexclusive permission to construct, operate and maintain a cable communications system ("system") in the Township, for the purpose of receiving, amplifying and distributing television and radio signals and other cable communications service within the Township, subject to the conditions and terms herein contained.
This permission shall authorize and permit VBCC to engage in the operation of providing cable communication service in the Township and for that purpose to erect, install, construct, repair, replace, reconstruct, maintain and retain, on, over, under, upon, across and along any public street, alley, or highway such poles, wires, cable, conductors, ducts, conduits, amplifiers, appliances, and attachments as be necessary and appurtenant to the system. Van Buren County Cablevision shall only be responsible to construct and service those areas of the Township as shown on the map attached as Exhibit "A"; provided, however, that VBCC shall provide service to the residents of the Township as provided in § 10-4I hereof.
Editor's Note: Said Exhibit "A" is on file in the Township office.
No poles, towers, structures or other items used, erected or constructed by or for the use of VBCC shall interfere with public traffic, use or access to or over any public right-of-way.
Any public street, alley, highway or right-of-way disturbed or damaged on account of the use, maintenance or construction of the system by or for the use of VBCC shall be promptly repaired by VBCC at its own expense and to the satisfaction of the Township.
The system shall initially have a capacity of 19 channels, of which 15 shall constitute the basic service channels. The additional channels may be used for premium channels or for such other programs as VBCC may from time to time offer to subscribers.
One outlet, providing basic service only, shall be provided free of charge to all government buildings and to all public, private and parochial schools and colleges within the Township, provided the structure is within 200 feet of a distribution line.
All lines, cables or wires installed as part of the system shall be installed underground in those areas where electric lines and telephone lines are located in underground installations; and as electric and telephone lines are placed underground in the future, VBCC shall also place its lines, cables or wires underground in such areas, on the same terms and conditions as that of the electric and telephone companies.
Where electric or telephone lines are not already located underground, cables, wires and lines to a subscriber's outlet shall be placed underground if so requested by the subscriber; provided, however, the cost of excavating, opening the ground, refilling, landscaping, planting and labor therefore shall be paid by the subscriber.
Van Buren County Cablevision will defend, indemnify and hold the Township harmless, at VBCC's own expense, from any and all claims which may arise in connection with the use, operation and/or maintenance of the system.
Van Buren County Cablevision will furnish to the Township proof of insurance covering liability and property damage in the amount of $1,000,000.
Van Buren County Cablevision agrees that it will furnish its service to any person in the Township who is within 200 feet of a main distribution line who requests the service, without any additional charge, subject to § 10-4E and F. Failure to do so will constitute a default in the terms of this franchise. In the event it is necessary to cross private property to reach a person requesting service, it shall be the responsibility of the person seeking service to obtain the necessary easements.
Van Buren County Cablevision will maintain an office telephone by which subscribers may contact VBCC to report trouble or problems; and VBCC shall answer and investigate all trouble calls or reports of service problems within 48 hours of receiving any such call or report. If service is interrupted for a period of seven days or more, VBCC shall prorate the billing to the subscriber for the applicable period to reflect a refund for the time service was interrupted.
Van Buren County Cablevision will defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Township from any and all claims, litigation and damages arising from the use, maintenance or operation of the system which may arise out of claims for infringement of trademark, patents and/or copyrights by VBCC or the system.
Van Buren County Cablevision will comply with all requirements of federal, state and local laws, and the appropriate rules and regulations of any agency or commission having jurisdiction over such operations. Any amendments or changes of laws, rules, or regulations of such agencies will be incorporated by reference into this chapter.
Within 30 days of the end of each calendar quarter, VBCC shall furnish to the Township a sworn statement listing the names and addresses of subscribers within the unincorporated part of the Township, together with a statement of the gross revenues received from those subscribers during the previous quarter. VBCC shall pay to the Township at the time a sum equal to 3% of such gross revenues. "Gross revenues" means all receipts received by VBCC from basic services, and the gross revenues from pay services, less the programming costs to VBCC excluding refundable equipment deposits, and installation and reconnection fees. Gross revenues shall not include any taxes on services furnished by VBCC imposed on any user or subscriber by any governmental unit and collected by VBCC for such governmental unit.
In the event of any breach or failure to perform any of the conditions of this chapter by VBCC that continues for a period of 30 days after written notice to VBCC, said continued breach may be a cause for termination of this franchise; provided, however, that if VBCC is unable to reasonably cure the breach or failure to perform within the thirty-day period, VBCC may request from the Township additional time to cure the breach or failure to perform, and such request shall not be unreasonably denied. No termination shall be imposed for acts, conditions, breaches, defaults, violations or failures which are beyond the control of VBCC. In the event that VBCC fails to cure the breach or failure to perform and the Township notifies VBCC that this franchise will be terminated, VBCC shall be entitled to a hearing before the Township Board no later than 30 days from the day of such notification. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary here, the Township and VBCC shall have and enjoy every right and remedy for enforcement of this franchise as may be provided by law or equity.
Rates and charges to subscribers for use of the system shall not exceed the following schedule during the term of this franchise and any extensions thereof without the express consent of the Township:
15 Channels of basic service: $9 per month, with increase effective January 1, 1984 to $9.95; each additional outlet: $1 per month; installation fee: maximum of $25; converter deposit: $25 per converter (refundable upon return); installation of additional outlets, if installed at time of original hookup: no charge.
The rate for basic service and additional outlets may be adjusted yearly, effective January 1 of each year, based upon the consumer price index as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, (more specifically defined as the City Average-All Items-All Urban Consumers-CPIU) for January 1983, was 293.2 When the January 1984 CPIU is released, the percentage increase in CPIU shall be multiplied by the monthly charge for the one-year period from April 1, 1984, to March 31, 1985. If the January 1, 1984, CPIU is 307.8 or an increase of 5% over the previous year, then the monthly subscriber fee, if adjusted, would be $9.95 times 0.05 equals an increase of $49.75, cents rounded to $0.50, so that the per-month subscriber fee would be $9.95 + $0.50 or $10.45 per month. The charge for additional outlets shall be determined in the same manner. However, in no case shall the increase in basic service charge or additional outlet charge exceed 7% for any yearly period.
The initial term of this franchise shall be a period of 15 years, and shall continue from year to year, subject to modification as agreed upon by both parties, unless after the initial fifteen-year period, written notification of intent by one party to cancel and discontinue is given to the other party one year in advance of the proposed date of termination; except that in the event of a breach of the terms of this franchise by VBCC, the Township shall have the right to rescind the permission given by VBCC herein in accordance with Subsection O. Under no circumstances shall this be considered a franchise, which is not revocable at the will of the Township.
Van Buren County Cablevision 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.