[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Highland Park by Ord. No. 1581 (§ 4-18 of the 1987 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Borough of Highland Park has recently received and/or expects to receive multiple requests from entities engaged in the telecommunications business seeking the Borough's permission to use the Borough right-of-way, Borough streets, and/or existing easements previously granted by the Borough, the public utilities for the purpose of installing fiber optic cable either overhead on existing utility poles or within underground conduits. The Borough is desirous of being supportive of this emerging innovative technology creating and expanding an information superhighway and desires to establish an uniform mode of dealing with such requests.
These requests from telecommunications providers require substantial review by Borough officials, including its Engineering and Public Works Departments, before permission can be granted since it will often involve the excavation of Borough streets, placement of construction vehicles partially blocking traffic on the Borough streets, and the need for additional police services during inspection of the construction. For those purposes, the imposition of an administrative fee geared to the magnitude of the installation, constitutes an appropriate balance between the needs of the telecommunications provider and of the Borough to protect and promote the public safety and welfare of its inhabitants.
Every applicant for installation of fiber optic cable or other telecommunication device desired to be installed either within an existing public utility easement or on public property or public right-of-way located within the Borough shall submit to the Borough Clerk:
Three copies of a plat showing the proposed location of the fiber optic cable installation;
A depiction or narrative indicating whether the proposed installation is overhead or underground;
Copies of any and all easements proposed to be used which have previously been granted to other utilities and assigned to the applicant; and
Any agreement by the prior utility to allow concurrent use of the existing easement.
Every application, once completed, shall be reviewed and a report prepared by the Borough Engineer for submission to the Borough Council for final action. Each applicant must be accompanied by a check made payable to the Borough in the amount of $500 per lineal mile (or part thereof) in which the fiber optic cable is to be installed. The application shall also be accompanied by a certificate of insurance in the amount of at least $1,000,000 in general liability coverage which names the Borough as an additional insured on that policy as well as a form of indemnification agreement, approved as to form by the Borough Attorney, which will hold the Borough and its officials, harmless from any loss, claim or damage arising out of the installation maintenance or use of the fiber optic cable to be installed by the applicant.
The regulations established herein shall not be applicable to existing utility companies paying a gross receipts tax to the State of New Jersey or to any entity paying a franchise fee, pursuant to statute, as a cable television provider within the Borough.