[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Commission of the City of South Pasadena 6-10-1965 as Ord. No. 120; amended in its entirety 6-14-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-05. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall have the meaning given herein.
- The City of South Pasadena, Pinellas County, Florida, its successor and assigns.
- Peoples Gas system, a division of Tampa Electric company, a Florida corporation, its successors and assigns.
- Any person served by the company within the corporate limits of the City.
- DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM
- Any and all transmission pipelines, main pipelines and service lines, together with all tubes, traps, vents, vaults, manholes, meters, gauges, regulators, valves, conduits, attachments, structures and other appurtenances, as are used or useful in the sale, distribution, transportation or delivery of natural gas and as are situated within the corporate limits of the City.
- The Florida Public Service Commission or any successor agency.
- FRANCHISE or FRANCHISE AGREEMENT
- This agreement, as passed and adopted by the City and accepted by the company, as provided in § A200-4 below.
- GROSS REVENUES
- All revenues (as defined by the Florida Public Service Commission) received by the company from any customer from the sale of gas.
- NATURAL GAS or GAS
- Natural gas and/or manufactured gas and/or a mixture of gases which is distributed in pipes and measured by meter on the customer's premise. It shall not mean propane gas or liquefied petroleum gas (commonly referred to as "bottled gas").
- Any individual, firm, partnership, estate, corporation, company or other entity, including, but not limited to, any government entity.
- Any street, road, lane, highway, avenue, boulevard, alley, waterway, bridge, easement, or other right-of-way that is owned by the City.
The City hereby grants to the company the nonexclusive right, privilege, and franchise to lay, erect, construct, operate and maintain in, on or under any and all rights-of-way, as they now exist or may be hereafter constructed, opened, laid out or extended within the present incorporated limits of the City, or in such territory as may be hereafter added or annexed to, or consolidated with, the City, a distribution system subject to the terms and conditions herein contained.
Except as provided in § A200-15, the franchise hereby granted shall be for a period of 15 years from the effective date of this chapter.
The franchise hereby granted shall not be leased, assigned or otherwise alienated or disposed of except with the prior express written consent of the City, which shall not be unreasonably withheld or unduly delayed. No assignment shall be allowed without the assignee assuming the terms of the franchise agreement with the City.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the company may, without the consent of the City, lease, assign or otherwise alienate and transfer this franchise in connection with the lease or sale of the distribution system or upon its merger or consolidation with, or transfer to, a corporation engaged in similar business (including an affiliate or subsidiary of the company), or pledge or mortgage of such franchise in connection with the physical property owned and used by it in the operation of the distribution system for the purpose of securing payment of monies borrowed by the company.
As a further consideration for this franchise agreement, the City covenants and agrees that it will not, during the term of this franchise agreement or any extension thereof, allow another party to sell or distribute natural gas without paying the same franchise fee.
The distribution system shall be erected, placed, or laid in such manner as will, consistent with necessity, least interfere with other public uses of the rights-of-way, and said rights-of-way shall not be unnecessarily obstructed, and before, except in an emergency situation, the company makes any excavation or disturbs the surface of any of the rights-of-way, it shall make application for a permit to the appropriate City authority. The City shall issue, or if applicable deny, permits within 10 business days of application by the company. The company shall, with due diligence and dispatch, place such rights-of-way in as good a condition as before such excavation or disturbance was made; provided, however, that should the company fail, within 10 days of its receipt of written notice from the City, to restore such rights-of-way, then the City may undertake such restoration (other than any restoration work on the distribution system) and charge the reasonable cost thereof to the company. To the extent consistent with Florida law, the company hereby agrees to abide by all the rules and regulations and ordinances which the City has passed or might pass in the future, in the exercise of its police power, and further agrees to abide by any established policy which the City or its duly authorized representative has passed, established, or will establish, in the exercise of its police power; provided, however, that the City shall not pass any ordinance or regulation that results in a material change in the rights or obligations of the company under the franchise agreement.
All such components of the distribution system of the company located within the City shall be installed and maintained in accordance with accepted good practice and in accordance with the orders, rules, and regulations of the Florida Public Service Commission. The company shall provide gas to any customer, residential or commercial who requests such service and meets the requirements of feasibility as outlined in the Public Service Commission's tariff, as the same may be from time to time lawfully amended.
All components of the distribution system shall be laid consistent with all applicable codes, rules, regulations and laws, including, to the extent consistent with all applicable codes, rules, regulations and laws, specifications contained in City permits.
The City reserves the right to permit to be laid electric conduits, water and gas pipes and lines, cables, sewers, and to do and permit to be done any underground work that may be deemed necessary or proper by the City in, across, along, or under any right-of-way. Whenever, by reason of establishing a grade or by reason of changes in the grade of any right-of-way, or by reason of the widening, grading, paving, or otherwise improving present or future rights-of-way, or in the location or manner of construction of any water pipes, electric conduits, sewers, or other underground structure located within the rights-of-way, it shall be deemed necessary by the City to remove, relocate or disconnect any portion of the distribution system of the company hereto for such public purpose, such removal, relocation or disconnection shall be made by the company as ordered in writing by the City without claim for reimbursement. If the City shall require the company to remove, relocate or disconnect any portion of its distribution system or in any way to alter the placement or location of the distribution system, to enable any other person to use said rights-of-way of the City, as part of its permitting or approval process, the City shall require the person desiring or occasioning such removal, relocation, disconnection or alteration to reimburse the company for any loss, cost or expense caused by or arising out of such removal, relocation, disconnection or alteration of any portion of the distribution system. The company further agrees that it will not intentionally interfere with, change, or injure any water pipes, drains, or sewers of said City unless it has received specific permission from the City or its duly authorized representative.
Subject to § A200-11 below, within 30 days after the close of the first full billing month following the effective date of this franchise agreement, and each month thereafter during the term of this franchise agreement, the company, its successors or assigns, shall pay to the City, or its successors, a sum of money which, when added to the amount of all taxes, licenses, permits, or other impositions levied or assessed by the City and actually paid by company, is equal to 6% of the company's gross revenue, less any adjustments for uncollectable accounts, from the sale of natural gas to customers within the corporate limits of the City. The franchise fee payment shall be deemed paid on time if post-marked within 30 days of the close of the preceding billing month. It is the intent of the parties that there be no disruption in the payment of franchise fees regardless of the timing of the expiration of the last franchise agreement and the adoption of this agreement.
The company has been providing natural gas within the city limits of South Pasadena for many years and has the city limits and block numbers needed to determine which of its customers are within the city limits. The City shall provide such information no less than 30 days prior to the effectiveness of any change in said limits, whether by addition, annexation or consolidation, or upon the company's request. The company shall be relieved of any obligation to pay franchise fees in annexed areas to the extent the City has failed to provide information in accordance with this section.
The company shall maintain accounting, maintenance, and construction records as prescribed by the FPSC. The company shall establish and maintain appropriate accounts and records in such detail that revenues within the corporate limits of the City are consistently declared separately from all other revenues, and such records shall be maintained within the State of Florida. Upon request by the City, or its designated representative, and execution of a confidentiality agreement reasonably satisfactory to the company, the company shall make available said records within 30 days to the City for the determination of the accuracy of the gross revenues upon which the company's franchise fee is based. The company shall maintain its billing records only for the period of time required by the FPSC and any examination conducted after such period shall be confined to the billing records then available.
During the term of this franchise, the company shall file with the City Clerk, and shall keep in full force and effect at all times during the effective period hereof, insurance certificates evidencing a general liability insurance policy or policies or evidence of self-insurance within the corporate limits of the City, as they currently exist or may exist in the future. Each such policy shall be in the minimum sum of $1,000,000 for injury or death to any one person, and in the minimum sum of $5,000,000 for injury or death to all persons where there is more than one person involved in any one accident, and in the minimum sum of $1,000,000 for damage to property resulting from any one accident, and each of the said minimum sums shall remain in full force and shall be undiminished during the effective period of this chapter. The coverage requirements set forth in this section may be satisfied, in whole or in part, with self-insurance. Every such insurance policy shall contain a provision whereby every company executing the same shall obligate itself to notify the Clerk of the City, in writing, at least 30 days before any material alteration, modification, or cancellation of such policy is to become effective.
In consideration of the permissions granted to the company by this franchise agreement, the company hereby agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the City, its officers, agents and employees from and against claims, suits, actions, and causes of action, to the extent caused by the company's negligent operation of the distribution system within the City during the term of this franchise and resulting in personal injury, loss of life or damage to property sustained by any person or entity, through or as a result of the doing of any work herein authorized or the failure to do work herein required, and including all reasonable costs, attorney's fees, expenses and liabilities incurred by the City in connection with any such claim, suit or cause of action, including the investigation thereof, and the defense of any action or proceeding brought thereon and any order, judgment or decree which may be entered in any such action or proceeding or as a result thereof; provided, however, that neither the company nor any of its employees, agents, contractor, licensees, or sublessees shall be liable under this section for any claims, demands, suits, actions, losses, damages, or expenses, including attorney's fees, arising out of the negligence, strict liability, intentional torts, criminal acts, or error of the City, its officers, agents, or employees. The provisions of this section shall survive the expiration or earlier termination of this franchise agreement. Notwithstanding any provision herein to the contrary, the company's liability under this agreement shall be limited to the assets and business of Peoples Gas system, a division of Tampa Electric company, as if Peoples were incorporated separate and apart from Tampa Electric company.
Violation by the company of any of the covenants, terms, and conditions hereof, or default by the company in observing or carrying into effect any of said covenants, terms and conditions, shall authorize and empower the City to declare a termination of this franchise agreement; provided, however, that before such action by the City shall become operative and effective, the company shall have been served by the City with a written notice setting forth all matters pertinent to such violation or default, and describing the action of the City with respect thereto, and the company shall have had a period of 60 days after service of such notice, or, in the event such cure reasonably requires a period of more than 60 days, 60 days to present a plan, reasonably satisfactory to the City, to effect such cure; and provided further that any violation or default resulting from a strike, a lockout, an act of God, or any other cause beyond the control of the company shall not constitute grounds for termination.
Changes in the terms and conditions hereof may be made by written agreement between the City and the company.