[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Board of the Township of Grosse Ile 12-11-2000 by Ord. No. 296. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter will be known and may be cited as the "Township of Grosse Ile Cable Television Regulatory Ordinance."
For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and derivations will have the meaning set forth in this section. When consistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number.
- FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION or FCC
- Federal agency constituted by the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, or its successor.
- The holder of a franchise awarded under this chapter.
- LOCAL GROSS REVENUES
- As defined in the franchise.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, or organization of any kind.
- SYSTEM, CABLE SYSTEM and CABLE TELEVISION SYSTEM
- A facility, consisting of a set of closed transmission paths and associated signal generation, reception, and control equipment, that is designed to provide cable service which includes video programming and which is provided to subscribers within the Township, but such terms do not include:
- A. A facility that serves only to retransmit the television signals of one or more television broadcast stations;
- B. A facility that serves subscribers without using any public right-of-way;
- C. A facility of a common carrier which is subject in whole or in part, to the provisions of Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 ("Act"), except that such facility will be considered a cable system [other than for purposes of Section 621(c) of the Act] to the extent such facility is used in the transmission of video programming directly to subscribers, unless the extent of such use is solely to provide interactive on demand services;
- D. An open video system that complies with Section 653 of Title IV of the Act; or
- E. Any facilities of any electric utility used solely for operating its electric utility system.
- The Board of Trustees of the Township of Grosse Ile, Michigan, or duly delegated persons, committees or other representatives.
- TOWNSHIP BOARD
- The Board of Trustees of the Township of Grosse Ile, Michigan, or its successor.
No person may construct, operate or maintain a cable television system in the Township without a franchise awarded by the Township Board of Trustees. A franchise is a nonexclusive franchise, right and privilege to construct, erect, operate, modify and maintain, in, upon, along, across, above and over and under the highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, public ways and public places now laid out or dedicated and all extensions thereof, and additions thereto, in the Township, poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes, and other television conductors and fixtures necessary for the maintenance and operation in the Township of a cable television system for the purpose of providing cable television services.
An initial franchise will terminate 15 years from date of the grant subject to renewal for periods of 15 years in duration on the same terms and conditions or on such different or additional terms and conditions as may be lawfully specified by the Township Board and are consistent with the requirements of the Federal Communications Commission. Notwithstanding anything in this chapter to the contrary, the franchise, or any renewals thereof, will be revocable at any time, for cause, as expressed through resolution of the Township Board. A franchise may be renewed by the Township upon application of the franchisee pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 546 or then applicable federal and state law.
The franchisee will be subject to all lawful exercise of the police power by the Township and to such reasonable regulation as the Township will by resolution or ordinance adopt. The construction, operation and maintenance of the system by the franchisee must be in full compliance with such portions of the National Building and Electric Code and National Electric Safety Code as may be applicable and as the same may be amended and revised from time to time, and in full compliance with all other applicable rules, regulations and ordinances now in effect or hereinafter adopted by the Federal Communications Commission, the Township, or any other agency of the State of Michigan or the United States, which may hereafter acquire jurisdiction of the operations of the franchisee authority. In the event of a conflict between the terms and conditions of a franchise and this chapter, the franchise will control.
The franchisee will indemnify the Township for and hold it harmless from all liability, damage, cost, or expense arising from claims of injury to persons or damage to property occasioned by reason of any conduct undertaken pursuant to this chapter, including libel and slander actions as set forth in the franchise. The Township will notify the franchisee's representative within 15 days after the presentation of any claim or demand to the Township, either by suit, or otherwise, made against the Township on account of any negligence or contract as aforesaid on the part of the franchisee. The franchisee further agrees as follows:
A franchisee will carry workmen's compensation insurance with statutory limits and employer's liability insurance with limits of no less than $100,000, which will cover all operations to be performed by franchisee as a result of this chapter.
A franchisee will carry commercial general liability and comprehensive automobile liability insurance with bodily injury limits of not less than $500,000 per person and $1,000,000 per occurrence.
A franchisee's workmen's compensation, commercial general liability and comprehensive automobile liability insurance will be written by an insurance company with capital and/or a surplus of not less than $3,000,000, and a franchisee agrees to furnish Township with certified copies of certificates of insurance of said policies, which will provide that insurance will not be canceled unless 10 days' prior written notice will first be given to the Township.
A franchisee will post a performance bond with the Township written by an approved corporation surety in the amount of $100,000, and in a form satisfactory to the Township guaranteeing franchisee's continued operation of the cable television system within the Township, and a franchisee will well and truly observe, fulfill, and perform each term and condition of the bond. All damages which may be directly occasioned by the failure of the franchisee to perform under this chapter, up to the principal amount of the bond, will be recoverable from the principals and sureties of said bond by the Township. The bond required will be reduced to $25,000 at such time as construction of the system is complete.
If a franchisee should commit a breach of this chapter and not remedy such breach 60 days after receipt of written notice from the Township to do so, then the Township, at its discretion, may declare a portion of the bond equivalent to the amount of damages sustained by the municipality which are directly attributable to such breach forfeited and franchisee will thereupon be required to remedy the breach with reasonable dispatch and within 60 days of such forfeiture replace the forfeited portion of the bond. Notwithstanding the foregoing nothing contained in this paragraph will serve to absolve franchisee of any of its obligations under this chapter or the rules and regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.
The franchisee will pay all premiums chargeable for the bond and will keep the same in full force and effect at all times throughout the term of this chapter and during the removal of all poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes, and other conductors, converters, equipment, and fixtures subsequent to the termination of this chapter. The bond will contain a provision that it will not be terminated or otherwise allowed to expire prior to 30 days after written notice to that effect is given to the Clerk of the Township.
All insurance policies and bonds as are required of the franchisee in this regulatory chapter will be written by a company or companies authorized and qualified to do business in the State of Michigan. Certificates of all coverage required will be promptly filed by the franchisee with the Township.
A franchisee will file with the Federal Communications Commission such request, petition, or other application as is then proper to secure from the Federal Communications Commission any and all necessary permits, licenses, waivers, or the like as may be necessary to be secured from the Federal Communications Commission to fully comply with the terms of this chapter. The franchisee will thereafter diligently pursue such application with the Federal Communications Commission and will do all reasonable things necessary and proper to secure any such permit, license, waiver, approval, or the like from it. The franchisee will keep the Township advised, from time to time, of the process of such application.
Franchisees will obtain right-of-way permits from appropriate state, county, and federal officials necessary to cross highways or roads under respective jurisdictions to supply main trunk lines from the franchisee's receiving antennas, obtain permission from the Federal Aviation Authority to erect and maintain antennae suitable to the needs of the system and its subscribers, and obtain whatever other permits a Township, county, state or federal agency may require. The franchisee will construct its cable system using material of good and durable quality and all work involved in the construction, maintenance, and repair of the cable system will be performed in a safe, thorough and reliable manner. Any real or personal property damaged or destroyed will be promptly repaired or replaced by the franchisee and restored to its previous condition.
The franchisee system, poles, wires, and appurtenances will be located, erected, and maintained so that none of its facilities will endanger or interfere with the lives of persons, or interfere with any improvements the Township may deem proper to make, or unnecessarily hinder or obstruct the free use of the streets, alleys, bridges, easements, or public property.
All transmission and distribution structures, lines, and equipment erected by the franchisee within the Township will be so located as to cause minimum interference with the proper use of streets, alleys, or other public ways and places.
In the case of any disturbance of pavement, sidewalk, driveway, or other surfacing, the franchisee will, at its own cost and expense and in a manner approved by the Township, replace and restore all paving, sidewalk, driveway or surface of any street, alley, or other public place disturbed, in as good condition as before said work was commenced.
In the event that the Township lawfully elects to alter or change the grade of a street, alley, or other public way, the franchisee, upon reasonable notice by the Township, will remove, relay, and relocate its poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes, and other fixtures at its own expense.
Franchisees will not place poles or other fixtures where the same will interfere with any gas, electric, or telephone fixture, water hydrant or main, and all such poles or other fixtures placed in any street will be placed at the outer edge of the sidewalk and inside the curb line, and those placed in alleys will be placed close to the line of the lot abutting on said alleys and then in such manner as not to interfere with the usual travel on any streets, alleys, and public ways.
Franchisees will, on the request of any person holding a building moving permit issued by the Township, temporarily raise or lower its wires to permit the moving of buildings. The expense of such temporary removal, raising, or lowering of wires will be paid by the person requesting the same, and the franchisee will have the authority to require such payment in advance. The franchisee will be given not less than 48 hours' advance notice to arrange for such temporary wire changes.
The franchisee will have the authority to trim trees upon and overhanging streets, alleys, sidewalks, and public places of the Township so as to prevent the branches of such trees from coming in contact with the wires and cables of the franchisee, all trimming to be done under the supervision and direction of the Township and at the expense of the franchisee.
The franchisee will make cable service available to all residents of the Township within 36 months after all necessary permits and notifications are received, and all necessary utility (telephone and power) pole rearrangements are completed.
It is the obligation of the franchisee to serve all residents of the Township. Franchisees will provide service to all areas defined by the original franchise agreement during the prescribed construction period and the franchisee will extend service to new areas when there is an average of 40 homes per each linear mile of new cable construction, provided that any such new subscribers will be charged at the normal installation charge and monthly rate for customers of that classification. In the event that these requirements are not met, extensions of service will be required only on a basis which is reasonable and compensatory as set forth in the franchise.
All facilities and equipment of franchisee will be constructed and maintained in accordance with the requirements and specifications of the National Electrical Safety Code and such applicable ordinances and regulations set forth by the Township and/or any other local, state, or federal agencies.
The franchisee will have the authority to promulgate such rules, regulations, terms, and conditions governing the conduct of its business as will be reasonably necessary to enable the franchisee to exercise its rights and perform its obligations and to assure an uninterrupted service to each and all of its customers. Such rules, regulations, terms and conditions will not be in conflict with the provisions hereof or with federal and state laws.
Unless a cable operator has initiated the procedures set forth in 47 U.S.C. § 546, 12 months prior to expiration of the franchise, the Township Board may review the performance of the franchise and the content of this chapter in accordance with the following procedure:
After giving public notice, the Township Board will proceed to determine whether the franchisee has satisfactorily performed its obligations under the franchise. To determine satisfactory performance, the Township Board will review the technical development of the system, programming, services offered, cost of service, and any other particular requirement set forth in this chapter, such as the availability of programming equipment and personnel to aid access channel users, and resolution of subscriber complaints. Also, among other standards, the Board will consider the franchisee's reports made to the Township or the FCC. Provisions will be made for community comment. Industry performance standards on a national basis will be considered.
If the Board determines the franchisee's performance to be satisfactory, a new franchise may be granted pursuant to this chapter.
In the event the current franchisee is determined by the Board to have performed unsatisfactorily, new applicants may be sought and evaluated and a franchise awarded in accordance with franchising procedures adopted herein.
The franchisee will, at all times, comply with the rules and regulations governing the cable system promulgated by the FCC. This will include adherence by the franchisee to FCC rules regarding technical and engineering specifications involved in the construction of the cable system and signal carriage therein.
The franchisee's distribution system will initially be capable of carrying at least 80 channels of television and constructed with capacity for separate and distinct two-way transmission.
At such time that the FCC may relinquish its regulation of franchise fees paid to the grantor of a cable system franchise by the franchisee, the Township will reserve the right to renegotiate the franchise fee with the franchisee.
The franchisee will assume the costs of the publication of an ordinance awarding a franchise as such publication is required by law. A bill for publication costs will be presented to the franchisee by the appropriate Township officials upon the franchisee's filing of its acceptance of this franchise and the said publication costs will be paid at that time by the franchisee.
The right is reserved to the Township to adopt, in addition to the provisions and existing applicable ordinances, such additional generally applicable regulations as it will find necessary in the exercise of the police power, provided that such regulations, by ordinance or otherwise, will be reasonable, generally applicable and not in conflict with the applicable laws of the State of Michigan or the United States or the franchise.
The Township will have the right, without charge, of maintaining upon the poles or in the underground conduits of the franchisee within the Township limits, wires, and fixtures that will be necessary for a traffic signal control system and/or a police and fire alert system. Such wires and fixtures will be installed and maintained at the sole expense of the Township and will at all times comply with all the reasonable rules and regulations of the franchisee so that there may be a minimum danger of contact or conflict between the wires and fixtures of the franchisee and wires and fixtures used by the Township.
In the case of any emergency or disaster, the franchisee will, upon request of the Township. make available its facilities to the Township for emergency use during the emergency or disaster period as set forth in the franchise.
The Township will not be liable for any damage occurring to the property of the franchisee caused by employees of the Township in the performance of their duties, except for damage caused to the franchisee's facilities by the negligence of the Township's employees. Unless caused by the gross negligence of the Township employees or its representatives, the Township will not be liable for the interruption of service by actions of such persons, their agents, contractors or representatives in the performance of their duties, nor will the Township be held liable for the failure of the franchisee to be able to perform normal service due to acts of God or other factors beyond the control of the Township.
Nothing in this chapter grants to the franchisee any right of property in Township-owned property, nor will the Township be compelled to maintain any of its property any longer than, or in any fashion other than in the Township's judgment its own needs may require.
Except for individual service drops, the franchisee will not erect any pole, any underground lines, or conduits, run any line, or make any attachment, nor will any construction of any kind be commenced without the prior approval of the Community Development Department/Township Consulting Engineer or appropriate department of the Township, which approval will not unreasonably be withheld. The Township will have and maintain the right to inspect the construction, operation, and maintenance of the system by the franchisee to insure the proper performance of the terms of this chapter, subject to payment of fees set by resolution of the Township Board of Trustees.
The franchisee will not allow its cable or other operations to interfere with television reception of persons not served by the franchisee, nor will the system interfere with, obstruct, or hinder in any manner the operation of the various utilities serving the residents of the Township.
The franchisee will not, as to rates, charges, service facilities, rules, regulations, or any other respect, take from or grant any preference or advantage to any person nor subject any person to any prejudice or disadvantage, provided that nothing in this chapter will be deemed to prohibit the establishment of a graduated scale of charges and classified rate schedules to which any customer coming within such classification would be entitled, except as may be permitted by applicable state and federal law.
The franchisee will, during each year of operation, pay to the Township 5% of the annual local gross revenues received by the franchisee for all cable television services rendered within the Township. The franchisee will furnish the Township with an operating report showing the franchisee's annual local gross revenues during the preceding year and such other information as is required by the franchise related to the franchisee's services within the Township for such period.
All payments as required by the franchisee to the Township will be made quarterly and will be due 45 days after the close of the three-month period.
The franchisee will keep full, true, accurate, and current books of account which books and records, and all other pertinent books, records, maps, plans, financial statements and other like materials, will be made available for inspection and copying by the Township pertinent to either franchisee's cable system in the Township or franchisees local gross revenues upon reasonable notice and during normal business hours as set forth in the franchise.
The Township reserves the right to regulate subscriber rates and charges subject to state and federal law.
During the term of this franchise, and any renewal thereof, the franchisee will maintain a reasonably convenient agent for the purpose of receiving and resolving all complaints regarding the quality of service, equipment malfunctions, and similar matters as set forth in the franchise. The agent will be available for contact by a local or toll-free telephone call. The agent will be open to receive inquiries or complaints from subscribers during normal business hours, and in no event less than 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Any complaints from subscribers will be investigated and acted upon as soon as possible, but at least within three business days of their receipt. The franchisee will keep a maintenance service log which will indicate the nature of each service complaint, the date and time it was received, the disposition of said complaint, and the time and date thereof. This log will be made available for periodic inspection by the Township.
Franchisees will not permit the transmission of any signal, whether aural, visual, or digital, including "polling" the channel selection, from any subscriber's premises without first obtaining written permission of the subscriber. This provision is not intended to prohibit the use of transmission of signals useful for the control or measurement of system performance.
Franchisees will not permit the installation of any terminal equipment in any subscriber's premises that will permit transmission from subscribers' premises of two-way services utilizing aural, visual, or digital signals without consent of the subscriber except for interactive and information services.
It is unlawful for any person to attach or affix or to cause to be attached or affixed any equipment or device which allows access or use of the cable television service without payment to the franchisee for sale.
The Township reserves the right to adopt, in addition to the provisions contained in this chapter, such additional regulations as it will find necessary in the exercise of its police power; provided, however, that such regulations are reasonable and not materially in conflict with the privileges granted in this chapter or the franchise.
A franchise will, at the option of the Township Board or its designee, cease and terminate 120 days after the appointment of a receiver or receivers or trustee or trustees to take over and conduct the business of the franchisee whether in a receivership, reorganization, bankruptcy, or other action or proceeding unless such receivership or trusteeship will have been vacated prior to the expiration of said 120 days, or unless:
Such receivers or trustees, within 120 days after their election or appointment, fully comply with all the terms and provisions of this chapter and the franchise granted pursuant hereto, and the receivers or trustees within said 120 days remedy all defaults under the franchise; and
Such receivers or trustees, within said 120 days, execute an agreement duly approved by the court having jurisdiction in the premises, whereby such receivers or trustees assume and agree to be bound by each and every term, provision and limitation of the franchise granted.
In the case of a foreclosure or other judicial sale of the plant, property and equipment of the franchisee, or any part thereof, including or excluding this franchise, the Township Board or its designee may serve notice of termination upon the franchisee and the successful bidder at such sale, in which event the franchise herein granted and all rights and privileges of the franchisee hereunder will cease and terminate 30 days after service of such notice, unless:
In addition to providing basic cable television service consisting of broadcast and access channels, the franchisee may offer subscribers options services on a per-program or per-channel basis (pay cable). The franchisee will not, however, program or, in any way, display obscene material not protected by the First Amendment.
The franchisee will not refuse to hire, nor discharge from employment, nor discriminate against any person regarding compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of sex, race, color, creed, or national origin. The franchisee will take affirmative action to insure that employees are treated without regard to their sex, race, color, creed, or national origin during employment.
In addition to all other rights and powers pertaining to the Township by virtue of the franchise or this chapter, the Township may terminate and cancel the franchise and all rights and privileges of the franchisee thereunder in the event that the franchisee:
Substantially violates any provision of the franchise where such violation will remain uncured for a period of 30 days subsequent to receipt by franchisee of written notice of said violation, except when such violation is not the fault of the franchisee;
Attempts to evade any of the provisions of this chapter or a franchise agreement, or practice any fraud or deceit upon the Township;
Any termination and cancellation will be made by resolution of the Township Board duly adopted after 60 days' notice to the franchisee and will in no way affect any of the Township's rights under this franchise or any provisions of law, provided, however, that before the franchise may be terminated and canceled under this section, the franchisee will be provided with an opportunity to be heard before the Board, upon 30 days' written notice to the franchisee of the time and place of the hearing; and provided further that said notice will affirmatively recite whether the revocation is at will, or for cause, and if for cause the reasons alleged to constitute such cause will be recited in the notice. The opportunity to be heard will not be interpreted as an implication that cause need be shown by the Township to support a revocability of a franchise under the Constitution of the State of Michigan, the laws and regulations of the United States and the State of Michigan, the Township of Grosse Ile, or any agreements between the parties.
The franchisee will be required to provide continuous service to all subscribers in return for payment of the established fee. If the franchisee modifies or sells the system, or the franchisor revokes or fails to renew the franchise, or the franchisor elects to purchase the system, the franchisee is required as part of the franchise to continue to operate the system until an orderly change of operation is effectuated, but in no event more than six months. In the event the franchisee fails to operate the system for five consecutive days without prior approval of the Board, the Township or its agents may operate the system until such time that a new operator is selected. If the Township is required to fulfill this obligation for the franchisee, the franchisee will reimburse the Township for any costs or damages that are the result of the franchisee's failure to perform.
In areas where telephone or electric utility facilities are above ground at the time of installation, the franchisee may install its cable above ground. In those areas of the Township of Grosse Ile where both public utility facilities are underground at the time of installation, the franchisee will install its cable underground.
The franchisee will, without charge for installation, maintenance, or service, make single installations of its basic cable programming service channel offerings at each fire and police station, and all public schools within the Township. The franchisee will, without charge for installation, maintenance, or service make installation of its standard antenna service facilities to the Township's public buildings and school buildings set forth in Exhibit H. Such installation will receive the complete basic cable programming service channel offering of the franchisee, without charge, subject only to contractual prohibitions between the franchisee and third party sources. Such installations will be made at such reasonable locations as will be requested by the respective units of government or educational institutions. Any charge for relocation of such installations will be charged at actual costs. Additional installations at the same location will be made at cost plus 10%. No monthly service charges will be made for distribution of the franchisee's signals within such publicly owned buildings.
Editor's Note: Exhibit H is on file in the Township offices.
A franchise authorizes only the operation of a cable system as provided for in this chapter and does not take the place of any other franchise, license, or permit which might be required by law of the franchisee.
Upon termination of service to any subscriber, the franchisee will promptly remove all of its facilities and equipment from the premises of such subscriber upon written request.
Prior approval of the Township Board is required where ownership or control of more than 25% of the right of control of a franchisee is acquired by a person or group of persons acting in concert, none of whom already own or control 25% or more of such right of control, singularly or collectively except as otherwise set forth in the franchise.
No franchise may be transferred unless such transaction is first approved by the Township Board, by resolution after public hearing, in accordance with the same procedures as are specified for grants of franchises. Such approval will not be unreasonably withheld.
The franchisee will not oppose intervention by the Township in any suit or proceeding to which the franchisee is a party.
The franchisee will maintain a sufficient force of agents and employees, at all times, to provide safe, adequate, and prompt service for its facilities.
Copies of all petitions, communications, and applications submitted by the franchisee to the Federal Communication Commission, Securities and Exchange Commission, or any other federal or state regulatory commission, or agency having jurisdiction in respect to any matters affecting cable television operations authorized pursuant to a franchise, will also be submitted to the Township, upon request.
The system will be engineered to provide an emergency alert system to allow authorized officials to automatically override the signal on all channels and transmit and report emergency information as set forth in the franchise. In the event of any such use by the Township, the Township will hold harmless and indemnify the franchisee from any damages or penalties resulting from the use of this service.
The technical standard for operation of the system will, in addition to meeting the requirements, specified in this chapter, conform to all further requirements specified in the franchise agreement, and any other standards or codes therefore as may be adopted by the Township Board.
The franchisee will make the following available and operational at all times during the length of the franchise:
A minimum of one channel at no charge on the general subscriber network system, available to all subscribers within the Township, designated as the local government channel for the exclusive use of local government agencies.
A minimum of one channel at no charge on the general subscriber network system, available to all subscribers within the Township, for the exclusive use of the Grosse Ile Township Schools.
A minimum of one channel at no charge on the general subscriber network system available to all subscribers within the Township for exclusive use by the general public on a first come, first served basis.
No acceptance of any payment will be construed as a release or as an accord or satisfaction of any claim the Township may have for further or additional sums payable as a franchise fee under the franchise agreement, this chapter, or for the performance of any obligation hereunder.
Failure to pay any fees required by this chapter or franchise agreement will result in automatic suspension of the franchise granted, and reinstatement thereof may be had only upon resolution by the Township Board and payment of the delinquent fee or fees plus any interest or penalties as may be required by the resolution.
The franchisee will not be relieved of its obligation to comply promptly with any of the provisions of its franchise by any failure of the Township to enforce prompt compliance.
Prosecutions under this chapter will be prosecuted in the name of the Township.