[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Medford 9-16-1991 as Ord. No. 1991-11. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance supersedes former Ch. A150, Cable Television Franchise, adopted 8-1-1979 by Ord. No. 1979-16.
The Township of Medford hereby grants to Garden State Cablevision, L.P., d/b/a Garden State Cable TV, its consent to place in, upon, along, across, above and over and under the highways, streets, alleys, sidewalks, public ways and public places in the Township of Medford, poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes and other television conductors and fixtures necessary for the maintenance and operation in the Township of Medford of a cable television system and cable communications systems. Construction pursuant to said consent is conditioned upon prior approval of the Board of Public Utilities.
For the purpose of this ordinance, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein. Such meanings or definition of terms is supplemental to those definitions of the Federal Communications Commission (47 C.F.R 76.5) and the Cable Television Act (N.J.S.A. 48:5A-1 et seq.) and shall in no way be construed to broaden, alter or conflict with the federal or state definitions:
- ACT or CABLE TELEVISION ACT
- Chapter 186 of the General Laws of New Jersey, 1972, N.J.S.A. 48:5A-1 et seq.
- The grantee of rights under this ordinance and shall mean Garden State Cablevision, L.P., d/b/a Garden State Cable TV.
- The municipality as said term is used in this ordinance.
- Garden State Cablevision, L.P., d/b/a Garden State Cable TV, as said term is used in this ordinance.
- The Township of Medford.
- All accredited public and private schools, as said term is used in this ordinance.
The terms "Board," "Office," "Director," "cable television reception service," "cable communications system," "highway" and "certificate" shall have those meanings as defined and set forth in the Cable Television Act, as amended or supplemented.
A public hearing concerning the franchise herein granted to the company was held after proper public notice pursuant to the terms and conditions of this Act. Said hearing having been held as above stated and said hearing having been fully opened to the public, the municipality having received at said hearing all comments regarding the qualifications of Garden State Cable TV to receive this franchise and the municipality having reviewed the December 28, 1990, Report of the Medford Township Cable Television Fact-Finding Committee, which Committee received public comment at an open public meeting on November 20, 1990, the municipality hereby finds that the company possesses the necessary legal, technical, character, financial and other qualifications, that the company's operation and construction arrangements are adequate and feasible and that the company presents strong qualifications in light of prior experience and financial ability.
[Amended 8-3-1992 by Ord. No. 1992-15]
The consent herein granted shall expire seven years from the effective date of this ordinance, with an automatic three-year extension, provided that all conditions of the consent ordinance have been complied with.
The consent herein granted shall be subject to automatic renewal for the aforestated period in accordance with the procedures set forth in N.J.S.A. 48:5A-19 and 48:5A-25 and N.J.A.C. 14:18-11.1 et seq.
The company shall be required to petition the Board for certificate of approval authorizing continued operation during the period following expiration of the consent granted herein until such a time that a decision is made by the municipal governing body relative to the renewal of said consent. Such petition shall be filed at least 60 days prior to the expiration of the consent granted herein.
Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Act, the company shall, during each year of operation under the consent granted herein, pay to the municipality 2% of the gross revenues from all recurring charges received by the company from the subscribers to its cable television reception service in the municipality. Nothing shall prohibit the township from petitioning the Board of Public Utilities, Office of Cable TV, for an increase in the franchise fee during the renewal period if the township believes a need exists to increase the franchise fee.
The company shall be required to complete all construction upgrades within the service area described herein on or before December 31, 1994.
The consent granted herein to the company shall apply to the entirety of the municipality and any property hereafter annexed thereto. The company shall not alter its basic service without first notifying the Office of Cable Television. The basic service includes those channels which the company is required to carry by FCC rules and any channel which the company has agreed to carry without separate or additional charge.
The company agrees to provide at no cost a dedicated channel for municipal (public and education, via the Lenape Regional High School system) use. Said channel may be shared by other municipalities. If at any time during the franchise period it is determined that there is insufficient air time available for township use, the company agrees to dedicate an additional channel for municipal use if the township makes that request. "Insufficient air time available" shall mean the channel is being fully used from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and that use consists of 75% original nonrepeating programs and that said use has continued for at least 90 days.
Additionally, the company shall provide, within the technical limits of available signal strength, multiple connections to serve as many television sets as possible in each of the Medford Township public schools. The building wiring shall be constructed by the company, provided that the Board of Education installs any necessary conduit and performs any other make-ready work required to provide a clear path for the cable.
The company shall be required to proffer service to any person's residence or business located in those areas of the franchise territory described herein, in accordance with the proposal for the provision of services as described in the application. Any additional extension of the system which is necessary in the future but not contemplated in the application shall be made in accordance with the Office of Cable Television's line extension policy now or hereafter promulgated.
Restoration. In the event that the company or its agents shall disturb any pavements, street surfaces, sidewalks, driveways or other surfaces in the natural topography, the company shall, at its sole expense, restore and replace such places or things so disturbed in as good condition as existed prior to the commencement of said work.
Relocation. If at any time during the period of this consent, the municipality shall alter or change the grade of any street, alley or other way or place, the company, upon reasonable notice by the municipality, shall remove, re-lay and relocate its equipment, subject, however, to the prior approval of the Board.
Temporary removal of cables. The company shall, upon request of the municipality, at the company's expense, temporarily raise, lower or remove its lines in order to facilitate the moving of buildings or machinery or in other like circumstances, subject to the prior approval of the Board. Nonmunicipality entities, however, shall bear the full cost of the company for such temporary removal work and payments shall be made no less than 48 hours in advance of any work by the company.
Removal or trimming of trees. During the exercise of its rights and privileges under this franchise, the company shall have the authority to trim trees upon and overhanging streets, alleys, sidewalks and public places of the municipality so as to prevent the branches of such trees from coming in contact with the wires and cables of the company. Such trimming shall be only to the extent necessary to maintain proper clearance for the company's wires and cables.
During the terms of its franchise, and any renewal thereof, the company shall maintain a local business office or agent for the purpose of receiving, investigating and resolving all complaints regarding the quality of service, equipment malfunctions and similar matters. Such local business office is presently located at 1250 Haddonfield-Berlin Road, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, 08034, and shall be open during normal business hours, and in no event less than 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m., Saturday. The municipality shall be notified of any change in the local office location 60 days prior to that change.
The company shall make provision at its local business office for receiving telephone complaints and inquiries 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through the company's local phone service.
The company shall provide a maximum twenty-four-hour response to all service calls, except in the case of a complaint received on a holiday or weekend, in which case the company shall schedule a service call for no later than the first business day, or 36 hours after the complaint, whichever is earlier.
The company shall survey residents every two years. Such survey would include programming, technological upgrades, service and communication. The results of this biannual survey shall be shared with the municipality for use in extending the existing franchise agreement or as a basis for future agreements.
The township shall receive fifty-four-channel-capacity system within the next three years and be provided with Sprucer converter for stereo capability, when available.
The company shall ensure that it will use its best efforts to cooperate with the township with whatever instructions are received from the Township or State Police concerning traffic control.
The Office of Cable TV is hereby designated as the complaint officer for the Township of Medford pursuant to N.J.S.A. 48:5A-26b. All complaints shall be received and processed in accordance with N.J.A.C. 14:17-7.1.
A bond in form and of surety to be provided and delivered by the company and to be approved by the township in the amount of $25,000, which shall remain in effect during the entire life of the company's cable television franchise consented to by this ordinance and conditioned upon:
Faithful performance and no violation of the terms of the grant of this municipal consent as incorporated in the certificate of approval, the approval by the Board, the terms and conditions of all other governmental approvals, permits and licenses and of all undertakings by the company as represented in its application to the township for municipal consent.
The company's operation of a cable television system within the township and cable television reception service to all subscribers within the township, both continuing without any sustained interruption or repeated interruptions which are not due to circumstances outside the company's control in which the company has been notified by the township and failed to cure within a reasonable amount of time.
The company's good faith compliance with this ordinance, other applicable ordinances and resolutions of the township and applicable laws and regulations.
The company shall hold and save the township harmless from and indemnify and defend the township harmless from and indemnify and defend the township against every claim, loss and liability of every kind arising in any and every way, directly and indirectly, immediately and consequentially, from:
The grant or use of this municipal consent.
The construction, operation and/or maintenance of a cable television system and/or incidental fixtures or facilities within or without the township.
The acquisition of or negotiation for the acquisition of any interest in real estate, rights or privileges within or without the township.
The making, prosecuting or processing of any application for any governmental approval, permit or license, including all appeals.
All proceedings of every kind by or against the company.
Any act or omission of the company or any of its officers, directors, employees, agents, contractors, suppliers, materialmen or affiliated companies.
The exercise or implementation, whether or not proper or lawful, of any right or privilege, expressed or implied hereinunder, by law or otherwise arising out of this municipal consent or in any other way caused, directly or indirectly, by the company's action, inaction, franchise, operation, maintenance, construction, installation or the like.
Loss shall include all actual legal fees and court cost.
The municipality, having determined the rates proposed in the application for cable television reception service are reasonable, approves them as presented, subject to review by the Board.
In the event that the township determines that it is necessary and feasible for it to contract with the company for the purpose of providing other specialized services, then the company shall be required to apply to the Board for approval to enter into and establish the terms and conditions of such contract. All costs for such application to the Board shall be borne by the contractor.
The company shall be required to have the capability at the head end to override the audio portion of the system in order to permit the broadcasting of emergency messages by the municipality. The municipality shall provide such facilities, or, if such facilities are provided by the company, it shall be the responsibility of the municipality to pay for their use. The company shall in no way be held liable for any injury suffered by the municipality or any other person during an emergency if for any reason the municipality is unable to make full use of the cable television system as contemplated herein. The municipality shall also establish reasonable procedures for such uses.
In the event that the township determines that it is necessary for it to contract with the company for the purpose of providing interconnection services, the company shall be required to apply to the Board for approval to enter into and establish the terms and conditions of such contract. All costs for such application to the Board shall be borne by the contractor.
In the event that the township determines that it is necessary for it to contract with the company for the purpose of providing two-way service, the company shall be required to apply to the Board for approval to enter into and establish the terms and conditions of such contract. All costs for such application to the Board shall be borne by the contractee.
The company agrees to maintain and keep in full force and effect, at is sole expense at all times during the term of this consent, sufficient liability insurance naming the Township of Medford as an insured and insuring against loss by any such claim, suit, judgment, execution or demand in the minimum amounts of $1,000,000 per person for any one claim and $5,000,000 as to any accident or occurrence. Additionally, the company shall maintain and keep in full force and effect an umbrella liability policy with limits of not less than $10,000,000. The company further agrees to maintain and keep in full force and effect sufficient property damage insurance in the minimum amount of $100,000. Finally, the company agrees to maintain and keep in full force and effect sufficient crime and error omission coverage in the minimum amount of $5,000,000.
All of the written commitments contained in the written application of the company, dated March 20, 1991, and all the representations made at the public hearings conducted are to be considered to be binding upon the applicant as the terms and conditions of this consent, and those applications shall be annexed hereto and made a part hereof by reference.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this ordinance is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court or federal or state agency of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions hereof.
It is understood that should the Board, Office or any state or federal agency or body modify, change or alter any of its provisions with respect to cable television generally, such modifications, changes or alterations shall be incorporated into this consent consistent with the applicable dates specified in the change, to the extent applicable.
This ordinance shall take effect following final passage, adoption and publication, as provided, and may be cited as "Ordinance No. 1991-11."