Township of Upper Hanover, PA
Montgomery County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Upper Hanover 12-19-1974 by Ord. No. 74-5. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Openings and excavations in streets — See Ch. 421, Art. IV.
When used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
Programming carried on a cable television system.
Any facility that, in whole or in part, receives, directly or indirectly over the air, by electrical impulses using coaxial cables, 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 service.
A corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, or any other commercial entity or individual that seeks to cablecast within the Township of Upper Hanover.
No company without the approval of the Township of Upper Hanover and the decision of its Board of Supervisors granting said company a franchise may use the poles, wires and cables over, under and upon the streets, sidewalks, alleys, bridges and highways and other public places in the Township for cablecasting or the establishment of a cable television system. Said Township approval and granting of a franchise is conditioned upon a company's compliance with the following terms and requisites:
The poles or cables must be used exclusively for transmission of audio and/or visual images by means of electric impulses to television receivers in the Township of Upper Hanover.
No poles may be erected without the consent of the Township of Upper Hanover, and the decision of its Board of Supervisors relative thereto shall be final; provided, however, that any poles erected by a company shall be available to the Township for any lawful use so long as said use does not interfere with the Board's or company's use.
Cables shall be installed underground when present underground conduits exist, and all installations by a company of poles and cables and all other facilities relative to its operation shall be in accordance with good engineering practice and shall comply with all existing Township ordinances and regulations of all state and federal laws and regulations and will conform with standards of the National Electrical Safety Codes. The poles, cables or wires shall not interfere in any manner with the right of the public or any individual private property owner and shall not interfere with travel or use of public places by the public during the construction, repair or removal, and shall not obstruct or impede traffic.
The cable television system shall be installed and maintained in accordance with accepted standards of the industry, to the effect that subscribers shall receive the highest accepted service.
Receiving equipment, distribution lines and related electronic components shall be installed and maintained in a good workmanlike manner.
The cable television system shall be capable of delivering NTSC color and monochrome signals to standard EIA television receivers, both color and monochrome, and FM radio receivers, without modification or other attachments, except those modifications or attachments that would be required to make more than 12 VHF channels receivable. The signals shall be distributed to the receiving sets of individual subscribers without noticeable degradation of color fidelity, picture intelligence, audio distortion or cross-channel interference.
The cable television system shall have a minimum of twenty-one-channel capability and shall include the following:
The cable television system shall be capable of furnishing subscribers in the Township with a minimum of 12 television signals;
Five channels for program orientations shall be made available free of charge or monthly service to such five public buildings situated within the Township as the Township may select. Examples of such public buildings are public schools, police stations, firehouses, and Township buildings;
A channel for time, news and weather shall be provided by the company; and
One channel for local origination programming shall be provided by the company for programming by the company.
The company shall render efficient service and make all necessary repairs promptly.
The company shall maintain an office in the Township which shall be open during all usual business hours, have a listed telephone, and be so operated that complaints and requests for repairs or adjustments may be received.
The company shall at all times comply with each and all rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, including, but not limited to, those rules and regulations affecting the carriage of television and radio signals, nonduplication of programs broadcast by local stations, use of distant-stations signals, systems originations, advertising and other matters which may be determined from time to time by the Federal Communication Commission.
The company may enter into an agreement with any person or corporation, including the Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Electric Company and the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company, now authorized to erect poles, overhead wires or cables and underground wires or cables for the purpose of sharing these facilities, subject to all existing and future ordinances and regulations of the Township.
As an ordinance fee during the term of the rights granted hereunder, so long as the company operates said system, the company shall pay to the Township, at the time hereinafter specified, a sum equal to 3% of its annual gross receipts. Said ordinance fee is to include the gross revenue, including installation charges and all service fees, derived from the company's cablecasting within the Township. The ordinance fee due hereunder shall be paid annually within 90 days after the 31st day of December of each year subsequent to the commencement of service operation within the Township. Further, within 90 days after the 31st day of December of each year subsequent to the commencement of service, the company will provide the Township with a certified statement by a duly recognized certified public accountant specifically as to the gross revenues and other charges and fees received within the Township. If any governmental regulatory body having jurisdiction over the charges and fees received and paid by the company authorizes an annual fee in excess of the hereinabove-described ordinance fee to the Township or any local governmental body, the company will pay the larger authorized fee to the Township from the time when the larger fee is authorized.
A franchise granted by this chapter is nonexclusive, and nothing contained herein shall prevent the granting of additional franchises to any other person or corporation upon the terms and conditions set forth in this chapter. A franchise granted shall be for a period of 20 years from the date of approval of said franchise by the Township. If substantial construction of the approved facilities are not commenced by the company within five years from the date of the granting of the franchise, all rights granted to the company herein shall cease and terminate. At the end of the expiration of the term granted hereinabove or any extension thereof, should the Township not elect to exercise its rights contained hereunder, the franchise granted herein shall be automatically extended for an additional term of five years, and each extension thereafter shall be for a term of five years.
At the end of the term of the franchise given or at five-year intervals during any extension of the original term of said franchise, the Township of Upper Hanover, at its election, shall have the right to terminate the franchise of the company granted herein and to purchase and take possession of all the property and assets of the company connected with this system and located within the Township of Upper Hanover; should the Township so elect, the company shall then sell and convey the same to the Township of Upper Hanover upon the Township paying it just and fair compensation therefor, which compensation, if the parties cannot agree within six months after the date of notice of the election by the Township, shall be determined by an arbitration board to be composed of three disinterested members, one appointed by the company, one by the Township and the third by the other two members, and the decision of the Board shall be final and binding. Notice of election of the Township shall be given to the company at least one year prior to the termination of the original term or prior to the expiration of any five-year extension thereof, in writing, by registered mail, to the Township office of the company.[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
Should the company fail to comply with any of the terms of the ordinance, then, in addition to any other notice of Township given herein, the Township shall give written notice to the company of such failure to comply and if such failure to comply has not been rectified within 30 days of such written notice, the Township shall have at its option, the right to revoke the franchise granted to the company in this chapter. Should the Township so elect to revoke the franchise, it shall have the right to purchase and take possession of all the property and assets of the company connected with the cable television system in the manner provided for purchase in Subsection N herein, provided that the election to purchase by the Township upon revocation shall be made at the same time notice of revocation shall satisfy all notice requirements set forth in Subsection N. Should the Township elect to revoke the franchise, but not to exercise its right to purchase cable television system as provided hereinabove, then the company shall have 180 days within which to sell, transfer and assign its system and the franchise granted hereto to another company, not connected directly or indirectly with the franchisee or its principal stockholders. Said sale, transfer or assignment is subject to approval by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Upper Hanover.[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
No poles, cables, equipment or wires shall be installed or the installation thereof commenced until the proposed location of such poles, cables, equipment and wires shall have been set forth upon a plan or map showing the streets, alleys, highways, or public facilities within the Township whereon such installations are proposed and submitted to the Board of Supervisors for approval by it or its designated officials.
In the event that a change is made in the grade of public streets, alleys, avenues and grounds by authority of the Township which shall necessitate the removal of any poles, wires, transmission and distribution lines to conform to the change of grade, the company shall make the necessary changes in its line at its own expense, upon due notice from said Board of Supervisors or said designated official to do so.
The company's transmission and distribution system, poles, wires and appurtenances shall be located, erected and maintained so as not to endanger or interfere with the lives of persons or to interfere with new improvements the Township may deem proper to make or to unnecessarily hinder or obstruct the free use of the streets, alleys, bridges or other public property; removal of poles to avoid such interference will be at the company's expense.
The company shall, at its expense, protect, support, temporarily disconnect, relocate on the same street, alley or public place or remove from the street, alley or public place any property of the company when required by the Township by reason of the traffic conditions, public safety, street vacation, freeway and street construction, change or establishment of street grade, installation of sewer, drains, water pipes, power lines, signal lines and tracks of any other types of structures or improvements by governmental agencies when acting in a governmental or proprietary capacity or other structures of public improvements; provided, however, that the company shall in all cases have the privilege and be subject to the obligations to abandon any property of the company in place, as provided hereinafter.
In the event that the use of any part of the cable television system installed is discontinued for any reason by the company for a continuous period of six months, causing a cessation of service to subscribers of the cable television system, or in the event such cable television system's property has been installed in any street or public place without complying with requirements of this chapter, the company shall remove from the streets and public places all such parts of the system other than any which the Township may request to be abandoned in place. In the event of any such removal, the company shall restore the property in the area from which such removal occurred to a condition satisfactory to the Township.
The company shall grant to the Township, free of expense, joint use of any and all poles owned by it for any proper municipal purpose insofar as it may be done without interfering with the free use and enjoyment of the company's own wires and fixtures.
The company shall indemnify, protect and save harmless the Township from and against losses and physical damages to property and bodily injury or death to persons, including payments made under any workmen's compensation law which may arise out of or be caused by the erection, maintenance, presence or use or removal of attachments on poles by the company within the Township or by any act of the company, its agents or employees. The company shall carry insurance to protect the Township from and against all claims, demands, actions, judgments, costs, expenses and liabilities which may arise or result, directly or indirectly, from or by reason of such loss, injury or damage. The amounts of such insurance against liability due to physical damages to property shall not be less than $100,000 as to any one accident and not less than $200,000 aggregate in any single policy year, and against liability due to bodily injury or to death of persons not less than $300,000 as to any one person and no less than $600,000 as to any one accident. The company shall also carry such insurance as it deems necessary to protect it from all claims under the workmen's compensation laws in effect that may be applicable to the company. Within 30 days after the effective date of this chapter, the company shall furnish the Township with certified copies of all of its insurance policies evidencing that the company is carrying the minimum insurance coverage as provided herein. At least once a year during the years following the adoption of this chapter, the company shall furnish the Township with certificates of insurance evidencing the continued required coverage hereunder, and whenever the company makes any changes in its insurance policies or companies, certified copies of said new policies shall be delivered to the Township promptly.
The company shall indemnify, protect and save the Township harmless from and against any liability or responsibility to the holder of any copyright which the Township shall at any time sustain or incur by reason of or in consequence of the exercise by the company of any right or privilege granted to the company by this chapter or which the Township may sustain or incur in connection with any litigation incident to the incurring or sustaining of such liability or responsibility arising out of or in connection with the exercise by the company of any right or privilege granted to the company by this chapter.
Should the company at any time fail to comply with any terms and provisions of this chapter within a reasonable time after receiving written notice from the Township, upon 30 days' notice thereof, the company shall cease its operations and remove any and all wires, cables or poles installed by it pursuant to this authorization. In addition, the Township may proceed to take appropriate legal action to collect any sums due it on account of unpaid ordinance fees and may proceed in law or equity to enforce any and all of the provisions of this chapter.
Privileges granted by an approved franchise shall not be exercised until the company agrees in writing.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in a civil enforcement proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 and the costs of prosecution, provided that each day's violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).