City of Vinita Park, MO
St. Louis County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 620.010 Definitions.

[CC 2000 §3-13-1; Ord. No. 858, 2-22-1994]
As used in this Chapter, the following terms shall have these prescribed meanings:
BASIC CABLE RATES
The monthly charges for a subscription to the basic service tier and the associated equipment.
BASIC SERVICE TIER
A separately available service tier to which subscription is required for access to any other tier of service, including as a minimum, but not limited to, all must-carry signals, all PEG channels and all domestic television signals other than superstations.
BENCH MARK
A per channel rate of charge for cable service and associated equipment which the FCC has determined is reasonable.
CABLE ACT OF 1992
The Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992.
CABLE OPERATOR
Any person or group of persons:
1. 
Who provide cable service over a cable system and directly or through one (1) or more affiliates owns a significant interest in such a cable system; or
2. 
Who otherwise controls or is responsible for, through any arrangement, the management and operation of such a cable system.
CHANNEL
A unit of cable service identified and selected by a channel number or similar designation.
COST OF SERVICE SHOWING
A filing in which the cable operator attempts to show that the bench mark rate or the price cap is not sufficient to allow the cable operator to fully recover the costs of providing the basic service tier and to continue to attract capital.
FCC
The Federal Communications Commission.
INITIAL BASIC CABLE RATES
The rates that the cable operator is charging for the basic service tier, including charges of associated equipment, at the time the City notifies the cable operator of the City's qualification and intent to regulate basic cable rates.
MUST-CARRY SIGNAL
The signal of any local broadcast station (except superstations) which is required to be carried on the basic service tier.
PEG CHANNEL
The channel capacity designated for public, educational or governmental use and facilities and equipment for the use of that channel capacity.
PRICE CAP
The ceiling set by the FCC on future increases in basic cable rates regulated by the City, based on a formula using the GNP fixed weight price index, reflecting general increases in the cost of doing business and changes in overall inflation.
REASONABLE RATE STANDARD
A per channel rate that is at or below the bench mark or price cap level.
SUPERSTATION
Any non-local broadcast signal secondarily transmitted by satellite.

Section 620.020 Initial Review of Basic Cable Rates.

[CC 2000 §3-13-2; Ord. No. 858, 2-22-1994]
A. 
Notice. Upon the effective date hereof and the certification of the City by the FCC, the City shall immediately notify all cable operators in the City, by certified mail, return receipt requested, that the City intends to regulate subscriber rates charged for the basic service tier and associated equipment as authorized by the Cable Act of 1992.
B. 
Cable Operator Response. Within thirty (30) days of receiving notice from the City, a cable operator may file with the City its current rates for the basic service tier and associated equipment indicating that said rates are within the FCC's reasonable rate standard.
C. 
Expedited Determination And Public Hearing.
1. 
If the Board of Aldermen is able to expeditiously determine that the cable operator's rates for the basic service tier and associated equipment are within the FCC's reasonable rate standard as determined by the applicable bench mark, the Board of Aldermen shall:
a. 
Hold a public hearing at which interested persons may express their views; and
b. 
Act to provide the rates within thirty (30) days from the date the cable operator filed its basic cable rates with the City.
2. 
If the Board of Aldermen takes no action within thirty (30) days from the date the cable operator filed its basic cable rates with the City, the proposed rates will continue in effect.
D. 
Extended Review Period.
1. 
If the Board of Aldermen is unable to determine whether the rates in issue are within the FCC's reasonable rate standard based on the material before it or if the cable operator submits a cost-of-service showing, the City shall, within thirty (30) days from the date the cable operator filed its basic cable rates with the City and by adoption of a formal resolution, invoke the following additional periods of time, as applicable, to make a final determination:
a. 
Ninety (90) days, if the Board of Aldermen needs more time to ensure that a rate is within the FCC's reasonable rate standard; or
b. 
One hundred fifty (150) days, if the cable operator has submitted a cost-of-service showing seeking to justify a rate above the applicable bench mark.
2. 
If the City has not made a decision within the ninety (90) or one hundred fifty (150) day period, the Board of Aldermen shall issue a brief written order at the end of the period requesting the cable operator to keep accurate account of all amounts received by reason of the proposed rate and on whose behalf the amounts are paid.
E. 
Public Hearing. During the extended review period and before taking action on the proposed rate, the Board of Aldermen shall hold at least one (1) public hearing at which interested persons may express their views and record objections.
F. 
Objections. An interested person who wishes to make an objection to the proposed initial basic rate may request the City Clerk to record the objection during the public hearing or may submit the objection in writing anytime before the decision resolution is adopted. In order for an objection to be made part of the record, the objector must provide the City Clerk with the objector's name and address.
G. 
Bench Mark Analysis. If a cable operator submits its current basic cable rate schedule as being in compliance with the FCC's reasonable rate standard, the Board of Aldermen shall review the rates using the bench mark analysis in accordance with the standard form authorized by the FCC. Based on the Board of Aldermen's findings, the initial basic cable rates shall be established as follows:
1. 
If the current basic cable rates are below the bench mark, those rates shall become the initial basic cable rates and the cable operator's rates will be capped at that level.
2. 
If the current basic cable rates exceed the bench mark, the rates shall be greater than the cable operator's per channel rate on September 30, 1992, reduced by ten percent (10%) or the applicable bench mark, adjusted for inflation and any change in the number of channels occurring between September 30, 1992 and the initial date of regulation.
3. 
If the current basic cable rates exceed the bench mark, but the cable operator's per channel rate was below the bench mark on September 30, 1992, the initial basic cable rate shall be the bench mark, adjusted for inflation.
H. 
Cost-Of-Service Showing. If a cable operator does not wish to reduce the rates to the permitted level, the cable operator shall have the opportunity to submit a cost-of-service showing in an attempt to justify initial basic cable rates above the FCC's reasonable rate standard. The Board of Aldermen will review a cost-of-service submission pursuant to FCC standards for cost-of-service review. The Board of Aldermen may approve initial basic cable rates above the bench mark if the cable operator makes the necessary showing; however, a cost-of-service determination resulting in rates below the bench mark or below the cable operator's September 30, 1992, rates minus ten percent (10%) will prescribe the cable operator's new rates.
I. 
Decision.
1. 
By formal resolution. After completion of its review of the cable operator's proposed rates, the Board of Aldermen shall adopt its decision by formal resolution. The decision shall include one (1) of the following:
a. 
If the proposal is within the FCC's reasonable rate standard or is justified by a cost-of-service analysis, the Board of Aldermen shall approve the initial basic cable rates proposed by the cable operator; or
b. 
If the proposal is not within the FCC's reasonable rate standard and the cost-of-service analysis, if any, does not justify the proposed rates, the Board of Aldermen shall establish initial basic cable rates that are within the FCC's reasonable rate standard or that are justified by a cost-of-service analysis.
2. 
Rollbacks and refunds. If the Board of Aldermen determines that the initial basic cable rates as submitted exceed the reasonable rate standard or that the cable operator's cost-of-service showing justifies lower rates, the Board of Aldermen may order the rates reduced in accordance with Subsections (G) or (H) of this Section, as applicable. In addition, the Board of Aldermen may order the cable operator to pay to subscribers refunds of the excessive portion of the rates with interest (computed at applicable rates published by the Internal Revenue Service for tax refunds and additional tax payments) retroactive to September 1, 1993. The method for paying for any refund and the interest rate will be in accordance with FCC regulations as directed in the Board of Aldermen's decision resolution.
3. 
Statement of reasons for decision and public notice. If rates proposed by a cable operator are disapproved in whole or in part or if there were objections made by other parties to the proposed rates, the resolution must state the reasons for the decision and the Board of Aldermen must give public notice of its decision. Public notice will be given by advertisement once in the official newspaper of the City.
J. 
Appeal. The Board of Aldermen's decision concerning rates for the basic service tier or associated equipment may be appealed to the FCC in accordance with applicable Federal regulations.

Section 620.030 Increase in Basic Cable Rates.

[CC 2000 §3-13-3; Ord. No. 858, 2-22-1994]
A. 
Notice. A cable operator in the City who wishes to increase the rates for the basic service tier or associated equipment shall file a request with the City and notify all subscribers at least thirty (30) days before the cable operator desires the increase to take effect. This notice may not be given more often than annually and not until at least one (1) year after the determination of the initial basic cable rates.
B. 
Expedited Determination And Public Hearing.
1. 
If the Board of Aldermen is able to expeditiously determine that the cable operator's rate increase request for basic cable service is within the FCC's reasonable rate standard as determined by the applicable price cap, the Board of Aldermen shall:
a. 
Hold a public hearing at which interested persons may express their views; and
b. 
Act to approve the rate increase within thirty (30) days from the date the cable operator filed its request with the City.
2. 
If the Board of Aldermen takes no action within thirty (30) days from the date the cable operator filed its request with the City, the proposed rates will go into effect.
C. 
Extended Review Period.
1. 
If the Board of Aldermen is unable to determine whether the rate increase is within the FCC's reasonable rate standard based on the material before it or if the cable operator submits a cost-of-service showing, the Board of Aldermen shall, by adoption of a formal resolution, invoke the following additional periods of time, as applicable, to make a final determination:
a. 
Ninety (90) days, if the Board of Aldermen needs more time to ensure that the requested increase is within the FCC's reasonable rate standard as determined by the applicable price cap; and
b. 
One hundred fifty (150) days, if the cable operator has submitted a cost-of-service showing seeking to justify a rate increase above the applicable price cap.
2. 
The proposed rate increase is tolled during the extended period.
3. 
If the Board of Aldermen has not made a decision within the ninety (90) or one hundred fifty (150) day period, the Board of Aldermen shall issue a brief written order at the end of the period requesting the cable operator to keep accurate account of all amounts received by reason of the proposed rate increase and on whose behalf the amounts are paid.
D. 
Public Hearing. During the extended review period and before taking action on the requested rate increase, the Board of Aldermen shall hold at least one (1) public hearing at which interested persons may express their views and record objections.
E. 
Objections. An interested person who wishes to make an objection to the proposed rate increase may request the City Clerk to record the objection during the public hearing or may submit the objection in writing anytime before the decision resolution is adopted. In order for an objection to be made part of the record, the objector must provide the City Clerk with the objector's name and address.
F. 
Delayed Determination. If the Board of Aldermen is unable to make a final determination concerning a requested rate increase within the extended time period, the cable operator may put the increase into effect, subject to subsequent refund if the Board of Aldermen later issues a decision disapproving any portion of the increase.
G. 
Price Cap Analysis. If a cable operator presents its request for a rate increase as being in compliance with the FCC's price cap, the Board of Aldermen shall review the rate using the price cap analysis in accordance with the standard form authorized by the FCC. Based on the Board of Aldermen's findings, the basic cable rates shall be established as follows:
1. 
If the proposed basic cable rate increase is within the price cap established by the FCC, the proposed rates shall become the new basic cable rates.
2. 
If the proposed basic cable rate increase exceeds the price cap established by the FCC, the Board of Aldermen shall disapprove the proposed rate increase and order an increase that is in compliance with the price cap.
H. 
Cost-Of-Service Showings. If a cable operator submits a cost-of-showing in an attempt to justify a rate increase above the price cap, the Board of Aldermen shall review the submission pursuant to the FCC standards for cost-of-service review. The Board of Aldermen may approve a rate increase above the price cap if the cable operator makes the necessary showing; however, a cost-of- determination resulting in a rate below the price cap or below the cable operator's then current rate will prescribe the cable operator's new rate.
I. 
Decision. The Board of Aldermen's decision concerning the requested rate increase shall be adopted by formal resolution. If a rate increase proposed by a cable operator is disapproved in whole or in part or if objections were made by other parties to the proposed rate increase, the resolution must state the reasons for the decision. Objections may be made at the public hearing by a person requesting the City Clerk to record the objection or may be submitted in writing at any time before the decision resolution is adopted.
J. 
Refunds.
1. 
The Board of Aldermen may order refunds of subscribers' rate payments with interest if:
a. 
The Board of Aldermen was unable to make a decision within the extended time period as described in Subsection (C) of this Section; and
b. 
The cable operator implemented the rate increase at the end of the extended review period; and
c. 
The Board of Aldermen determines that the rate increase as submitted exceeds the applicable price cap or that the cable operator failed to justify the rate increase by a cost-of-service showing; and
d. 
The Board of Aldermen disapproves any portion of the rate increase.
2. 
The method of paying any refund and the interest rate will be in accordance with FCC regulations as directed in the Board of Aldermen's decision resolution.
K. 
Appeal. The Board of Aldermen's decision concerning rates for the basic service tier or associated equipment may be appealed to the FCC in accordance with applicable Federal regulations.

Section 620.040 Cable Operator Information.

[CC 2000 §3-13-4; Ord. No. 858, 2-22-1994]
A. 
City May Require.
1. 
In those cases when the cable operator has submitted initial rates or proposed an increase that exceeds the reasonable rate standard, the Board of Aldermen may require the cable operator to produce information in addition to that submitted, including proprietary information, if needed, to make a rate determination. In these cases, a cable operator may request the information be kept confidential in accordance with this Section.
2. 
In cases where initial or proposed rates comply with the reasonable rate standard, the Board of Aldermen may request additional information only in order to document that the cable operator's rates are in accord with the standard.
B. 
Request For Confidentiality.
1. 
A cable operator submitting information to the Board of Aldermen may request in writing that the information not be made routinely available for public inspection. A copy of the request shall be attached to and cover all of the information and all copies of the information to which it applies.
2. 
If feasible, the information to which the request applies shall be physically separated from any information to which the request does not apply. If this is not feasible, the portion of the information to which the request applies shall be identified.
3. 
Each request shall contain a statement of the reasons for withholding inspection and a statement of the facts upon which those reasons are based.
4. 
Casual requests which do not comply with the requirements of this Subsection shall not be considered.
C. 
Board Of Aldermen Action. Requests which comply with the requirements of Subsection (B) of this Section will be acted upon by the Board of Aldermen. The Board of Aldermen will grant the request if the cable operator presents, by a preponderance of the evidence, a case for non-disclosure consistent with applicable Federal regulations. If the request is granted, the ruling will be placed in a public file in lieu of the information withheld from public inspection. If the request does not present a case for non-disclosure and the Board of Aldermen denies the request, the Board of Aldermen shall take one (1) of the following actions:
1. 
If the information has been submitted voluntarily without any direction from the City, the cable operator may request the City return the information without considering it. Ordinarily, the City will comply with this request. Only in the unusual instance that the public interest so requires, will the information be made available for public inspection.
2. 
If the information was required to be submitted by the Board of Aldermen, the information will be made available for public inspection.
D. 
Appeal. If the Board of Aldermen denies the request for confidentiality, the cable operator may seek review of that decision from the FCC within five (5) working days of the Board of Aldermen's decision and the release of the information will be stayed pending review.

Section 620.050 Automatic Rate Adjustments.

[CC 2000 §3-13-5; Ord. No. 858, 2-22-1994]
A. 
Annual Inflation Adjustment. In accordance with FCC regulations, the cable operator may adjust its capped base per channel rate for the basic service tier annually by the final GNP-PI index.
B. 
Other External Costs.
1. 
The FCC regulations also allow the cable operator to increase its rate for the basic service tier automatically to reflect certain external cost factors to the extent that the increase in cost of those factors exceeds the GNP-PI. These factors include retransmission consent fees, programming costs, State and local taxes applicable to the provision of cable television service and costs of franchise requirements. The total cost of an increase in a franchise fee may be automatically added to the base per channel rate, without regard to its relation to the GNP-PI.
2. 
For all categories of external costs other than retransmission consent and franchise fees, the starting date for measuring changes in external costs for which the basic service per channel rate may be adjusted will be the date on which the basic service tier becomes subject to regulation or February 28, 1994, whichever occurs first (1st). The permitted per channel charge may not be adjusted for costs of retransmission consent fees or changes in those fees incurred before October 6, 1994.
C. 
Notification And Review. The cable operator shall notify the City at least thirty (30) days in advance of a rate increase based on automatic adjustment items. The City shall review the increase to determine whether the item or items qualify as automatic adjustments. If the City makes no objection within thirty (30) days of receiving notice of the increase, the increase may go into effect.

Section 620.060 Enforcement.

[CC 2000 §3-13-6; Ord. No. 858, 2-22-1994]
A. 
Refunds. The City may order the cable operator to refund to subscribers a portion of previously paid rates under the following circumstances:
1. 
A portion of the previously paid rates have been determined to be in excess of the permitted tier charge or above the actual cost of equipment; or
2. 
The cable operator has failed to comply with a valid rate order issued by the City.
B. 
Penalty. If the cable operator fails to comply with a rate decision or refund order, the cable operator shall be subject to the penalty provided in Section 100.220 of this Code for each day the cable operator fails to comply.