[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Madison 9-12-1988. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for Town regulation and use of the community antenna television system, including its construction, operation and maintenance in, along, upon, across, over and under the streets, alleys, public ways and public places now laid out or dedicated, and all extensions thereof and additions thereto in the Town of Madison, including poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes, conductors and fixtures necessary for the maintenance and operation in the Town of Madison, of the community antenna television system, and to provide conditions accompanying the grant of franchise; and providing for the Town regulation of CATV operation.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CABLE TELEVISION COMPANY
- Any person, firm or corporation owning, controlling, operating, managing or leasing a CATV system within the Town of Madison, sometimes referred to as "the company."
- Any community antenna television system or facility that, in whole or in part, receives directly or indirectly, over the air, and amplifies or otherwise modifies signals transmitting programs broadcast by one or more television or radio stations, or originates its own signal or signals produced through any of its community access channels and distributes such signals by wire or cable to subscribing members of the public who pay for such services, but such term shall not include any such facility that serves only the residents of one or more apartment dwellings under common ownership, control or management.
- The Town of Madison, organized and existing under the laws of the State of Maine and the area within its territorial limits.
No person, firm or corporation shall install, maintain or operate within the Town or any of its public ways or other public areas any equipment or facilities for the operation of a CATV system unless a franchise authorizing the use of said public ways or areas has first been obtained pursuant to the provisions of this chapter and unless said franchise is in full force and effect.
The municipal officers of the Town may contract on such terms, conditions and fees as they deem in the best interests of the Town and its residents with one or more cable television companies for the operation of a CATV system within the Town, including the granting of a franchise or franchises for the operation thereof for a period not to exceed 15 years, and each franchise shall contain the following provisions:
The area or areas to be served;
A line extension policy;
A provision for renewal, the term of which shall not exceed 15 years;
Procedures for the investigation and resolution of complaints by the cable television company; and
Such other terms and conditions which are in the best interest of the Town.
Applicants for a franchise shall pay a nonrefundable filing fee to the Town of $250 to defray the cost of public notice and advertising expenses relating to such application. The applications shall be filed with the Town Clerk and shall contain such information as the Town may require, including, but not limited to, a general description of the applicant's proposed operation, a schedule of proposed charges, sufficient financial information to determine the applicant's financial capacity, and estimated ten-year financial projection of its proposed system, its proposed annual Town franchise fee, if any, or the basis for same, and a statement detailing the prior operational experience of the applicant in both CATV and microwave service, including that of its officers, management and staff to be associated with the proposed operation.
Any franchise contract may be revoked by the municipal officers for good and sufficient cause, after due notice to the company and a public hearing thereon, with the right to appeal to the Superior Court under Rule 80B of the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure.
Before issuance of a request for proposals, the Town shall hold a public hearing with at least seven days' advance notice for the purpose of determining any special local needs or interests regarding cable television.
Any proposal submitted by a prospective CATV franchise shall be filed in triplicate with the Town Clerk's office, shall be deemed a public record, shall be available for a period of not less than 30 days prior to the Town's taking any formal action thereon, and public notice of the filing shall be given.
Before authorizing the issuance of any such franchise contract, the municipal officers shall review the applicant's character, financial and technical qualifications and the adequacy and feasibility of its qualifications to operate a CATV system within the Town, and shall conduct a public hearing thereon with at least seven days' advertised notice prior to said public hearing.
Upon the execution of any such franchise contract the cable television company shall file a financial guarantee in an amount not less than $25,000, conditioned upon the faithful performance of said contracts and full compliance with any laws, ordinances, regulations governing said franchise, including cost of dismantling the system, and also evidence of such public liability, copyright infringement and other insurance coverage as the municipal officers may require. When the cable television company has completed its proposed system as set forth in its proposal, and in compliance with its franchise agreement, the municipal officers shall permit the company to cancel said guarantee except for an amount to cover cost of dismantling the system.
The financial guarantee options are:
A performance bond from a surety bonding company authorized to do business, which bond shall be payable to the Town.
An irrevocable letter of credit from a bank or other reputable institution satisfactory to the municipal officers and in a form satisfactory to them, which letter of credit shall certify the following:
That the creditor does guarantee funds in a specified amount and for a specified duration; and
That, in case of failure on the part of the company to satisfactorily perform said contract within the required time period, the creditor shall pay to the Town immediately, and without further action, such funds as are necessary to finance the proper completion and dismantling of the system, up to the credit limit stated in the letter.
Evidence that cash has been deposited in an escrow account at a bank or other reputable institution acceptable to the municipal officers, and the escrow agreement acceptable to the municipal officers. The agreement shall provide that in case of failure on the part of the company to satisfactorily perform said contract within the required time period, the escrow agent shall pay to the Town immediately, and without further action, such funds as are necessary to finance the proper completion and dismantling of the system, up to the amount of the escrow account.