[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Saddle Brook 8-4-1994 as Ord. No. 1082. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter is intended to establish a set of comprehensive regulations for the installation and maintenance of public telephones installed upon the streets and sidewalks of the Township of Saddle Brook. Municipalities have experienced considerable problems including illegal activities in connection with the use of public telephones. Such activities often include the facilitation of drug activities and drug transactions. This chapter is also designed to regulate the proliferation of public telephones and to provide a uniform and standard process for the issuing of permits for those telephones which intrude upon the public right-of-way. This chapter is intended to apply not only to applications for new installations but also to preexisting installations.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ILLEGAL OR ILLICIT ACTIVITY
- Activity which is proscribed by Title 2C of N.J.S.A. or any township ordinance or any federal law or regulation.
- Any person responsible for placing and maintaining a public telephone on sidewalk or street, as hereinafter defined, and receiving a permit therefor.
- An individual, business, firm, corporation, association, partnership or any other organization, group or entity.
- PUBLIC TELEPHONE
- Any self-service, coin- or credit-card-operated telephone or bank of such telephones placed adjacent to each other located in or over a public sidewalk or street.
- That portion of a highway or street intended for the use of pedestrians, between the curbline or the lateral line of a shoulder or, if none, lateral line of the roadway and the adjacent right-of-way line.
- The entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is opened to the use of the public for the purposes of vehicular traffic, and shall include but not be limited to roadways, parkways, alleys and highways.
- The Township of Saddle Brook.
No person may place or maintain any outdoor public telephone on or above any public street or sidewalk without first having obtained a permit as provided in this chapter. Permits shall be issued subject to the approval of the location and means of installation of the telephone by the Township Council. Prior to installation, a plan or sketch of the telephone shall be furnished in sufficient detail to describe the size, location, equipment and means of installation and cabling, and such date will be forwarded to the Police Department and Building Inspector for their recommendations.
The initial fee for a permit shall be fifty dollars ($50.) for each public telephone. The annual renewal fee shall be twenty-five dollars ($25.) for each public telephone.
A copy of the good permit number shall be affixed to the public telephone in such a fashion so as to be secure from defacing or damage by the elements.
Permits shall be renewable annually with all applications for renewal to be submitted to the Township Clerk not later than the 15th day of January of each year.
The Township Council shall be notified of the intent of any person to remove or relocate a public telephone which notification shall be in writing and shall be given not later than thirty (30) days before the intended date of removal or relocation of said telephone. No telephone may be removed or relocated without compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
The Township Council may reject any application for a permit, revoke a permit or require the removal of an existing outdoor public telephone if it is determined that a public telephone has the potential to or has illustrated a propensity to create or contribute to illegal or illicit activities. A presumption of illegal or illicit activity will be created if during the permit year three (3) incidents of illegal or illicit activities are associated with the location or the proposed location of the public telephone.
The permit fees set forth herein shall not apply to any public telephone installation subject to an agreement with the Township Council providing for the payment of any annual commission and a franchise tax to the Township Council, except that such public telephone installations shall be subject to the following:
The Building Inspector shall approve the location, as per the approved plan, and the installation of each public telephone.
The Township Council may require any of the following: the removal of an outdoor telephone; the revocation of a permit; or the restriction or limitation upon service to permit outgoing calls only, if a public telephone has the potential to or has illustrated a propensity to or has contributed to illegal or illicit activity. A presumption of illegal or illicit activity will be created if during the permit year three (3) incidents of illegal or illicit activities are associated with the location or the proposed location of the public telephone.
Before receiving a permit, an applicant shall:
Execute an indemnification agreement by which that applicant agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Township of Saddle Brook against liability for all claims for damage to property or injury to or death of persons arising out of or resulting from the issuance of the permit or the control, maintenance, ownership or use of each public telephone, including the applicant's public telephone and equipment.
File with the Treasurer of the Township of Saddle Brook a general liability insurance policy of one million dollars ($1,000,000.) for bodily injury and fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.) for property damage naming the Township of Saddle Brook as an additional insured, insuring against injury, loss or damage that may result from placing or maintaining the telephone on or above the sidewalks, said policy to name the Township of Saddle Brook and its officer and employees as additional insured.
Any public telephone installation subject to this chapter shall comply with the following standards.
No booth shall surround a public telephone.
Each public telephone shall be equipped with a coin-return mechanism to permit a person using the machine to secure an immediate refund if a call cannot be placed. The coin mechanism shall be maintained in proper working order.
Each public telephone shall have affixed to it, in a place visible to everyone using the telephone, the name and address of the distributor and the telephone number of a working telephone service to report a malfunction, secure a refund or give the notices provided for in this chapter.
Public telephones shall be maintained in a neat and clean condition and in good repair at all times. Public telephones shall be serviced and maintained according to standards including but not limited to the following:
Public telephones shall be reasonably free of chipped, faded, peeling and cracked paint in the visible painted areas thereof.
Public telephones shall be reasonably free of rust and corrosion in the visible metal areas thereon.
Any clear plastic or glass parts of public telephones shall be unbroken and reasonably free of cracks, dents, graffiti, blemishes and discoloration.
Any paper or cardboard parts or inserts of public telephones shall be reasonably free of tears, peeling or fading.
The structural parts of public telephones shall not be broken or unduly misshapen.
Public telephone receivers shall be attached to the telephones.
All public telephones shall possess 911 emergency number access.
Current public telephone rates for a local coin call shall be posted on the public telephone or on the public telephone booth.
Toll rate quotations must be available for the operator upon request.
No public telephone shall be permitted to rest upon, in or over any public street or sidewalk when such installation, use or maintenance:
Endangers the safety of persons or property;
Unreasonably interferes with or impedes the flow of pedestrians or vehicular traffic, including any legally parked or stopped vehicles, or is intended to be installed in such a fashion so as to permit, intentionally or otherwise, its use by occupants of vehicles parked or stopped upon any sidewalk;
Unreasonably interferes with the ingress or egress from any residence or place of business; or
Interferes with the use of traffic signs or signals, hydrants or mailboxes permitted at or near said location.
Public telephones shall be placed or otherwise secured so as to prevent their being blown down onto or around the public street or sidewalk, but shall not be affixed or otherwise secured to any traffic or street signs or signals.
In additional to any other penalties for violation of this chapter, the Township of Saddle Brook may, after notice and hearing and for just cause, suspend, revoke or not renew any permit issued hereunder for:
Any violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Failure to comply with any federal or state laws and/or regulations or any township ordinance pertaining to the operation of public telephones.
Any cause which would have been cause for rejection of the application in the first instance.
A material and knowing misstatement or omission of information required on the application pursuant to this chapter. The question of whether a misstatement or omission is material and knowing shall be a question of fact for finder.
A finding upon receipt of a complaint by any citizen or upon request of the Chief of Police of the Township of Saddle Brook or his designee that the location and/or use of a public telephone constitutes a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the township.
Any hearing authorized under this chapter shall be conducted before the Township Council or a designee and shall require written notice to the permittee, which notice shall be given not less than ten (10) days prior to the date scheduled for said hearing. If the Township Council finds the permittee in violation of any provisions of this section, the Township Council may also require that service from said public telephone be restricted to outgoing calls only.
The owner of existing public telephones shall apply for the permit acquired hereunder within thirty (30) days from the date this chapter becomes final. The Township Council reserves the right to reject any and all locations submitted for approval based upon their existing nonconformance to this chapter.
If a permit is not obtained within the time specified herein or if any application for a permit is rejected, the owner shall forthwith remove said public telephone and all ancillary equipment. If the owner fails or refuses to remove said public telephone within ten (10) days from notification, the Township Council or a designee may cause the public telephone to be removed. Public telephone equipment removed by the township shall be released to the lawful owner thereof upon payment of a fee of two hundred fifty dollars ($250.) to the Township of Saddle Brook.
If no person makes a claim for return of a public telephone and/or ancillary equipment removed by the township under this section within six (6) months from the date of removal, it may be disposed of pursuant to N.J.S.A 40A:14-157.
Any violation of this chapter shall subject the violator to a fine or not less than one hundred dollars ($100.) and no more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.) and/or imprisonment of up to ninety (90) days. Each noncomplying public telephone violation will constitute a separate violation. Each day of said violation shall constitute a separate violation.