[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Lower Saucon 1-18-1984 by Ord. No. 84-1. Amendments noted where applicable.]
On and from the 18th day of January, 1984, it shall be unlawful for any person or persons, partnership, firm, limited partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind within the Township of Lower Saucon, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, to engage in the business of community antenna television systems without first registering with said Township for such privilege and fully complying with the terms, conditions, fees and penalties accompanying the grant of privileges to engage in such activities as hereinafter set forth.
No poles, cables, equipment or wires for the construction, maintenance and operation of community antenna systems shall be installed or the installation thereof commenced on any existing pole within the Township until the proposed locations, specifications and manner of installation of such cables, equipment and wires shall have been set forth upon a plot or map showing the existing poles, streets, alleys or highways within the Township where such installations are proposed and submitted, in writing, by any person, firm, partnership or corporation desiring to operate a community antenna system, to the Council and approved by the Council in writing.
In the installation or maintenance of such poles, cables, equipment and wires there shall be no interference with the public use of any street, alley or highway more than necessary to enable the performance and the installation or maintenance work with proper economy and efficiency, and the judgment of the Township shall be deemed binding in this connection. When necessary, in order not to interfere unduly with traffic or the rights of the traveling public, the Police Chief or his designee may determine the hours when such work shall be performed and fix a time when such work shall be completed.
The erection of any poles shall be subject to the consent and supervision of the Council or anyone appointed by the Council and shall be at the operator's own cost and expense, and the operator shall replace and properly repave that portion of any sidewalk or street pavement, to the satisfaction of the Township, which may have been displaced or damaged; all replacement of sidewalk or street paving shall be in accordance with the standard specifications now in use by the Township for this work. It shall be the responsibility of the operator to determine the locations of street lines, where required, so that all poles may be properly positioned in accordance with the submitted plot plan.
All poles and equipment, cables and wires so attached to existing poles shall be erected or constructed in a good, safe order and condition and in accordance with the best engineering practices and safety requirements. Wires shall, in general, be placed only where service poles for light, telephone and power lines have been or will be installed so as to preserve the prevailing character of neighborhoods and to maintain clear, unobstructed streets as much as possible. Where a street crossing is necessary for transmission or home service lines, a minimum vertical height above the curb of 18 feet shall be maintained.
The operator of the community antenna system and its successors shall at all times fully indemnify, protect and save harmless the Township from and against all claims, actions, suits, damages and charges and against all loss and necessary expenditures arising from the erection, construction or maintenance of the works or from the neglect or failure to maintain its works in good order and condition. In the event that there shall be failure or refusal to comply at any time with any part of this chapter or in the event that the business of the operator of the community antenna system and its successors should be discontinued voluntarily or involuntarily, then and in any event such operator and its successors shall, at its own cost and expense, remove its equipment, cables and wires erected or attached to such existing poles.
The operator of a community antenna system shall procure and maintain such insurance as will protect it from any claims for damages to property and/or personal injury, including death, which may arise from its operations and the maintenance of the apparatus hereinbefore mentioned, and certificates of such insurance shall be filed with the Council Manager and kept in force at all times, the limits of insurance to be subject to the approval of the Council as to adequacy of protection and in no event to be less than $25,000/$100,000 for property damage and $100,000/$300,000 limits for personal injury, including death.
Any such operator shall also enter into a bond with the Township Council, such bond to be in form and with surety to be approved by the Council and in the amount of $5,000 conditioned that the operator shall pay or cause to be paid any sums which may become due and payable to the Township because of:
Failure to maintain its poles, cables, wires and equipment erected pursuant to this chapter across, through, in and along the public streets, alleys and highways within the limits of the Township of Lower Saucon, County of Northampton, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in good and safe order and condition; or
Failure to remove its cables, wires and equipment from across, through, in and along the public streets, alleys and highways within the limits of the Township of Lower Saucon in accordance with this chapter. In the event that permission under this chapter should be revoked by the Township or in the event that the business of the operator of the community antenna system and its successors should be discontinued voluntarily or involuntarily, then the bond shall be void, provided that the operator of the community antenna system and its successors are not in violation of this chapter; otherwise it shall remain in full force and effect.
The right to engage in the activities hereof shall not be construed to be an exclusive grant to any one operator of a community antenna system so as to prevent the granting of similar privileges to others.
Any privilege and permission granted under this chapter shall be by resolution of the Council and may at any time be revoked by resolution of Council and shall at all times be exercised and maintained subject to the approval of the Council. Any violation of the terms of this chapter shall be deemed and taken to work a forfeiture of any permission and privileges that may have been granted.
Nothing herein shall be interpreted as meaning that the Township conveys or gives the right to use the now-existing poles or facilities or property of any utility, railroad or private corporation, person or partnership without first obtaining written permission from such parties, which written permission shall be filed with the Council before any erection or field work is performed.
If at any time the facilities being used are ordered removed or are voluntarily removed by the utility, railroad, private corporation, person or partnership now using such facility, then upon 60 days' notice from the Township, the wires, equipment and cables being used at such location shall be removed at the expense of the operator of the community antenna system and its successors within such time as ordered, and the Council shall have the right to declare any and all privileges granted withdrawn and forfeited.
Certified copies of any existing or future contracts by and between the operator of the community antenna system and its successors with any public utility servicing the Township shall be filed with the Council prior to the commencement of any construction, maintenance or installation of any equipment, cables or wires of any kind whatsoever.
Any operator of any community antenna system shall, under its seal and by its proper officers, within 30 days from the date of the resolution granting permission, signify, in writing, its acceptance of all the terms, conditions, regulations and restrictions of this chapter and shall also furnish the aforesaid certificates of insurance and bond and other documents required by this chapter, in default of any of which the resolution shall become null and void and be of no effect.
All legal advertising or printing fees or expenses incurred by the Township in connection with the passage of any resolutions under this chapter shall be paid by the operator of the community antenna system.
There shall be filed with the Council at the office of the Council Manager uniform tariffs covering installations and hookup charges for both commercial and residential buildings and service charges relating thereto and any subsequent changes in the tariffs.
The Township expressly reserved unto itself the right in the future to impose license or franchise fees upon the operations of community antenna systems.
Editor's Note: The current Fee Schedule is available at the Town Hall.
[Amended 7-18-1984 by Ord. No. 84-6]
In consideration of the Township granting privilege and permission for the erection, construction, maintenance and operation of a community antenna system, any operator of any such community antenna system shall pay annually to the Township the sum of 3% of the gross revenues derived from the operator from all cable services provided within the Township of Lower Saucon, including, but not limited to monthly subscription fees, installation charges, pay cable service advertising and leased access channels. Where revenues are generated for cable services provided in more than one municipality which levies a franchise fee, the revenue derived shall be apportioned on a prorated basis according to the number/percentage of subscribers of that cable company served in each municipality. This sum shall be paid to the Township of Lower Saucon for the privilege of using the streets, sidewalks, lanes, avenues, alleys, bridges and any or all other properties or facilities of the Township necessary or used by the operator to carry out the privilege and permission granted under this chapter and to cover the costs of necessary inspection and regulations by the Township.
The first annual payment shall be made by such operator to the Township within 30 days after the end of each year, beginning with the 30 days ending after December 31, 1983. Thereafter, such payment shall be made by the operator within 30 days after the end of each succeeding year of service. Upon failure of the operator to make any of the required payments within the times specified, any privilege and permission granted under this chapter shall become null and void, and all rights and privileges of the operator hereunder shall cease and terminate.
The operator shall furnish annually to the Township a detailed report of its operations for the preceding years; the report shall show, inter alia, the total number of customers served and the rate of each customer during the year and its gross income for the period. The Township, through its duly authorized employer agent, shall have the right to inspect, examine and, if necessary, audit the books and records of the operator at reasonable times. Any and all information obtained by the Township as a result of the inspection, examination and/or audit of the operator's books and records shall be confidential and shall not be disclosed by the Township, except in the case of a breach of this chapter or any legal proceeding to which the Township may be a party involving the privilege and permission granted or upon the order of a court, agency or administrative body.
[Amended 9-18-1996 by Ord. No. 96-10; 5-20-1998 by Ord. No. 98-17]
Any person who fails to voluntarily pay within 10 days to the Township the penalty imposed for violation of this chapter shall be subject to a civil enforcement proceeding. Any person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding, shall pay a fine of not more than $600, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, incurred by the Township in the enforcement of this chapter. No judgment shall be imposed until the date of the determination of the violation by the District Justice and/or Court. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Township may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. Further, the appropriate officers or agents of the Township are hereby authorized to seek equitable relief, including injunction, to enforce compliance herewith.