Town of Woodruff, WI
Oneida County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Woodruff 11-26-1997 (Ch. 22 of the 1986 Code); amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 242-1 Grant of franchise.

A. 
This chapter allows the Town of Woodruff to grant to a franchise grantee, its successors and assigns a nonexclusive franchise to install, maintain, and operate a cable television system for the distribution of television signals, frequency-modulated radio signals, closed circuit television programs, digital transmission, audio transmission, data transmission and any electric signals capable of being carried on a fiber or coaxial network, provided that the franchise grantee conforms to the conditions, limitations, requirements of this chapter. This chapter may be amended from time to time by the Town of Woodruff through the enactment of amendments thereto.
B. 
Ninety days prior to the fifth anniversary of the date of the signing of the franchise agreement, the Town of Woodruff and grantee shall meet to discuss the state of the art in the cable communications industry, and the parties shall, upon agreement and in full consideration of the economic effect thereof, amend this chapter and/or the franchise agreement to reflect state of the art inflections which will be incorporated by the franchise. The parties agree that they shall work together in good faith.

§ 242-2 Definitions and word usage.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number.
CABLE
Coaxial cables, wave guides, or other conductors and equipment for providing video, audio, and data frequencies by cable or through its facilities as herein contemplated, and including closed circuit special event programs and educational television.
GRANTEE
A person or entity to whom or to which a franchise under this chapter is granted by the Town Supervisors and the lawful successors or assigns of such person or entity.
GROSS REVENUES
The annual gross revenues of the grantee from all basic customer service monthly fees, pay cable fees and installation and reconnection fees in the Town of Woodruff. The term does not include any taxes on service furnished by the grantee and imposed directly upon any subscriber or used by the state, Town, or other governmental unit and collected by the grantee on behalf of said governmental unit.
STREET
The surface of and space above and below any public street, road, highway, freeway, lane, alley, court, sidewalk, parkway or drive now or hereafter existing as such within the Town.
SUBSCRIBER
Any person or entity receiving and paying for any purpose the services of a grantee herein.
TOWN
The Town of Woodruff, State of Wisconsin, in its present incorporated form or in any later recognized, consolidated, enlarged or reinterpreted form.
TOWN SUPERVISORS
The present governing body of the Town or any future body constituting the legislative body of the Town.

§ 242-3 Renewal or extension of franchise.

A. 
A grantee shall have the right to apply to the Town for renewal or extension of the franchise. The Town shall grant such renewal or extension application unless it finds that:
(1) 
The grantee has not substantially complied with the material terms of the chapter and with applicable law, or its officers have been convicted of a felony;
(2) 
The legal, technical, or financial qualifications of the grantee are inadequate to provide the service proposed by it;
(3) 
The service and facilities to be provided by the grantee are not reasonable in light of the community need for and cost of such services and facilities;
(4) 
The service quality of the cable system has not been reasonable in the light of the community needs; or
(5) 
The proposals contained in the renewal application are otherwise unreasonable.
B. 
A grantee must file for renewal at least 30 months before the expiration of the franchise. The Town must consider the renewal application and conduct any proceedings necessary to adequately consider the application and may not request, accept, or consider any other franchise application until the grantee's application is denied or approved.
C. 
The Town shall negotiate in good faith with the grantee regarding franchise renewal within 60 days after the completion of proceedings and shall make a preliminary decision granting or denying renewal within four months after receipt of any application. If the Town denies an application it must notify the grantee by written statement, within seven days after its decision, of the reasons for the denial.
D. 
The grantee, if adversely affected or aggrieved by a decision of the Town made pursuant to this section, may appeal such decision in any court of competent jurisdiction. The franchise shall remain in effect pending the completion of such appeal.
E. 
Both the Town and grantee shall comply with all the provisions of Section 626 of the Cable Communication Policy Act of 1984 regarding renewal procedures.
F. 
In the event that the Act changes, the Town shall conduct renewal procedures in accordance with then applicable law.

§ 242-4 Termination or expiration of franchise.

A. 
Should a grantee's franchise be terminated or expire and there is no judicial or administrative review of the termination or expiration taking place, the grantee shall begin removal within 90 days of termination or expiration of all property owned by the grantee and placed on a public right-of-way, unless permitted by the Town to abandon said property to a purchaser.
B. 
In the event that a franchise has been terminated or expired, the Town shall have the option, to the extent then permitted by law, to purchase the assets of the grantee's cable television system previously governed by the franchise at their fair market value by matching any other reasonable, bona fide offer to purchase the system, to assign such right to purchase, or to require removal of all of the grantee's property located within the public ways of the Town at the grantee's expense. Such an option must be exercised within one year from the date of the revocation or expiration of the franchise, the entry of a final judgment by a court reviewing the question of the revocation or expiration, or the entry of final order upon appeal of the same, whichever is later.

§ 242-5 Sale or transfer of franchise.

A. 
All of the rights and privileges and all the obligations, duties and liabilities created by this chapter shall pass to and be binding upon the successors of the Town and the successors and assigns of any grantee, and the same shall not be assigned or transferred without the written approval of the Town hereunder, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld without a showing of good cause; provided, however, that this section shall not prevent the assignment or pledge of a franchise or system by a grantee as security for debt without such approval, and provided further that transfers or assignments of a franchise between any parent and subsidiary corporation or between entities of which at least 51% of the beneficial ownership is held by the grantee or any parent corporation shall be permitted without the prior approval of the Town. The sale, transfer, or assignment of a material portion of the tangible assets of a grantee to an unrelated third party shall be considered an assignment subject to the provisions of this section.
B. 
The parties to the sale or transfer of a franchise shall make a written request to the Town for its approval of a sale or transfer of the franchise.
C. 
The Town shall reply in writing within 30 days of the request and shall indicate approval of the request or its determination that a public hearing is necessary due to potential adverse effect on the franchise subscribers.
D. 
If a public hearing is deemed necessary, the Town shall conduct such hearing within 30 days of such determination, and notice of any such hearing shall be given 14 days prior to the hearing by publishing notice thereof once in a newspaper of general circulation in the area being served by the franchise. The notice shall contain the date, time and place of the hearing and shall briefly state the substance of the action to be considered by the Town.
E. 
Within 30 days after the public hearing, the Town shall approve or deny in writing the sale or transfer request.
F. 
The parties to the sale or transfer of a franchise only, without the inclusion of a cable communications system in which at least substantial construction has commenced, shall establish that the sale or transfer of a franchise only will be in the public interest.
G. 
A grantee, upon transfer, shall within 60 days thereafter file with the Town a copy of the deed, agreement or other written instrument evidencing such sale, transfer of ownership or control or lease, certified and sworn to as correct by the grantee.

§ 242-6 Franchise territory.

Any franchise is for the present territorial limits of the Town of Woodruff. For any area henceforth added thereto during the term of the franchise, service shall be extended wherever household density reaches 20 homes per plant mile, including interconnecting trunks.

§ 242-7 Subscriber privacy.

A. 
A grantee shall not, except as required by governmental action, provide any data concerning specific subscribers or users or their use of subscriber services without notification to the subscribers or users.
B. 
Subscribers and users shall retain the right to deactivate their terminals but shall continue to be responsible for charges until the grantee is notified to terminate service.

§ 242-8 Technical performance; inspections.

A. 
The cable system shall be operated to comply with all guidelines and standards set by the FCC for signal quality and leakage upon proper notification. The Town reserves the right to test the system and independently measure the signal quality. The system shall comply at all times with the National Electrical Code of the National Fire Protection Association.
B. 
The Town may inspect all construction or installation work during such construction or installation, or at any time after the completion thereof, in order to ensure compliance with the provisions of this chapter and all other governing ordinances.

§ 242-9 Open books and records.

Any grantee shall manage all of its operations in accordance with the policy of totally open books and records vis-a-vis the Town. The authorized officers of the Town shall have the right to inspect, upon notice, during normal business hours, all books, records, maps, plans, and service complaint logs of the grantee that relate to the operation of the franchise.

§ 242-10 Subscriber service.

A. 
The grantee shall provide a line, either staffed or with answering capabilities, available 24 hours a day.
B. 
The grantee shall answer service requests for service interruptions within 24 hours, excluding weekends and holidays. Problems should be rectified in 48 hours or, in case of a dispute, in fewer than 30 days. Customers shall be able to request from the grantee that a service visit occur during a four-hour block of time in either the morning or the afternoon.
C. 
Cable television subscriber rights and definitions under Wisconsin law relating to cable television (§ 100.209, Wis. Stats.) shall apply.

§ 242-11 Description of system.

Upon request, a grantee shall, as part of the acceptance of a franchise, provide a complete written description or map of the cable system in the Town of Woodruff. Such written description or map shall be updated as additions or changes are made.

§ 242-12 Rates.

A. 
Rates charged by a grantee for service hereunder shall be fair and reasonable. The grantee shall not engage, directly or indirectly, in any sales or service of individual television sets.
B. 
Subsequent additions or amendments to rates and service charges shall likewise be filed with the Town Clerk 30 days prior to the same becoming effective.

§ 242-13 Conditions on street occupancy.

A. 
All transmission and distribution structures, lines and equipment erected by a grantee within the Town shall be so located as not to cause interference with the proper use of streets, alleys, and other public ways and places and not to cause interference with the rights of or reasonable convenience of owners of property which adjoins any of the streets, alleys, or other public ways and places.
B. 
In case of any disturbance of pavement, sidewalk, driveway, or other surfacing, the grantee shall first complete disturbances of pavement, sidewalk, driveway, or other surfacing and shall, at its own cost and expense and in a manner approved by the Town, replace and restore all pavement, sidewalk, driveway, or other surface of any street or alley disturbed in as good condition as before such work commenced. The grantee shall otherwise comply with Town ordinances relating to street openings.
C. 
If at any time during the period of a franchise the Town shall elect to alter or change the location or grade of any street, alley, or other public way, the grantee, upon reasonable notice by the Town, shall remove, relay and relocate its poles, wires, cables, underground conduits, manholes and other fixtures at its own expense. If any construction by the grantee is in violation of the provisions of Subsection A above, the grantee shall likewise, upon reasonable notice by the Town, remove, relay and relocate its property in such a manner as to remedy such violation at its own expense.
D. 
The grantee shall not place poles or other fixtures where the same will interfere with any existing gas, electric, telephone, or other fixture, water hydrant, or main. All such poles or other fixtures placed in any street shall be placed between the outer edge of sidewalk and the curbline, and those placed in alleys shall be placed close to the line of the lot abutting on such alley in such a manner as not to interfere with the usual travel on the streets, alleys, and public ways. However, nothing in this chapter shall prohibit the use by the grantee of existing public utility poles where practical.
E. 
A grantee shall, on the request of any person holding a building moving permit issued by the Town, temporarily raise or lower its wires to permit the moving of buildings. The expenses of such temporary raising or lowering of the wires shall be paid by the person requesting the same, and the grantee may require such payment in advance. The grantee shall be given notice not less than five working days in advance to arrange for such temporary wire changes.
F. 
The grantee, to the same extent that the Town has such authority, may trim trees that overhang streets, alleys, sidewalks, and public places of the Town so as to prevent the branches of such trees from coming in contact with the wires and cables of the grantee.

§ 242-14 Franchise fee.

No franchise fee is required.

§ 242-15 Indemnification and insurance.

A. 
The grantee shall defend and save the Town and its agents and employees harmless from all claims, damages, losses, and expenses, including attorney fees, sustained by the Town on account of any suit, judgment, execution, claim, or demand whatsoever arising out of:
(1) 
The enactment of this chapter and granting of a franchise thereafter, except such claims as may arise from the Town's selection of a grantee to be awarded a franchise pursuant to this chapter.
(2) 
The installation, operation or maintenance of the cable system, except for acts of the Town, its agents or employees, unless said acts are at the request of and under the direction or supervision of the grantee.
B. 
The Town shall notify the grantee within 10 days after the presentation of any claim or demand, either by suit or otherwise, made against the Town on the part of the grantee. The grantee shall furnish to the Town, before any franchise becomes effective, satisfactory evidence in writing that the grantee has in force and will maintain in force during the term of the franchise public liability insurance.
C. 
All grantees shall maintain throughout the term of the franchise a general comprehensive liability insurance policy naming as additional insured the Town, its officers, boards, commissions, agents, and employees in a form satisfactory to the Town Attorney. The policy shall protect the Town and its agencies and employees against liability for loss or damages for personal injury, death or property damage occasioned by the operations of the grantee under any franchise granted hereunder in the amounts of $1,000,000 for bodily injury or death to any one person, with the limit however of $2,000,000 for bodily injury or death resulting from any one accident, and $1,000,000 for property damage resulting from any one accident. The Town shall be named as an additional insured under such insurance, and a copy of the current in-force policy shall be deposited with the Town Clerk.

§ 242-16 Service remedies.

A grantee is not responsible for failure to provide adequate service caused by acts of God, strikes, governmental or military action, or other conditions beyond its control, including the lack of material or parts. Except as otherwise provided, upon interruption of service of greater than 48 hours without the prior express permission of the Town, the grantee shall provide its customers with a refund based on the following formula: the basic service rate times the number of days divided by the number of days in the month.

§ 242-17 Rights of residents.

A. 
An owner or operator of an apartment building, condominium, nursing home, mobile home park, or any other rental facility may not interfere with or charge a fee for the installation of cable system facilities for the use of a lessee of said property or premises, except that such owner or operator may require:
(1) 
Installation to conform to reasonable conditions necessary to protect the safety, appearance and functioning of the premises.
(2) 
The grantee, occupant, or tenant to pay for the installation, operation, or removal of such facilities.
(3) 
The grantee, occupant, or tenant to agree to indemnify the owner or operator for any damages caused by the installation, operation or removal of such facilities.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for the grantee to reimburse or offer to reimburse any person, or for any person to demand or receive reimbursement from the grantee, for the placement upon the premises of such person of the grantee's facilities necessary to connect such person's premises to the distribution lines of the grantee to provide cable service to said premises.
C. 
A landlord may not discriminate in the amount of rent charged to tenants or occupants who receive cable service and those who do not.

§ 242-18 Rights reserved by Town.

A. 
The right is hereby reserved by the Town to adopt, in addition to the provisions contained in this chapter and existing applicable ordinances, such additional regulations as it shall find necessary in the exercise of its police powers. Such regulations, by ordinance or otherwise, shall be reasonable and not be in conflict with the rights granted in this chapter and not be in conflict with the laws of the state.
B. 
The Town may, during the term of a franchise, free of charge where aerial construction exists, maintain upon the poles of the grantee within the Town limits wire and pole fixtures necessary for a police and fire alarm system, such wires and fixtures to be constructed and maintained to the satisfaction of the grantee in accordance with its specifications.

§ 242-19 Waiver of charges.

During the term of a franchise, the grantee shall provide free service to any and all schools, whether private, public or parochial, and libraries within the area of the franchise. The grantee may charge for usual installation costs.

§ 242-20 Severability.

Should any word, phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph, or portion of this chapter and/or franchise be declared to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, such adjudication shall not affect the validity of this chapter and the franchise as a whole but shall only affect the portion thereof declared to be invalid, and the Town Board hereby expressly states and declares that it would nonetheless have passed this chapter and granted the franchise had it known that any such word, phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or portion of said chapter or franchise was invalid.

§ 242-21 Term of franchise.

Any franchise granted under this chapter shall be effective upon written acceptance of the franchise being filed with the Clerk of the Town within 30 days from the adoption thereof, and the franchise shall continue in force for a period granted in the franchise.

§ 242-22 Arbitration.

A. 
Controversies arising from a grantee's performance under the terms of this chapter shall be submitted to arbitration. Arbitration shall not be demanded by any party until such time as that party has served written notice upon the opposing party setting forth its proposed determinations or actions which are to be the subject matter of the arbitration. Such notice shall be in writing and mailed to the other party by certified mail, return receipt requested.
B. 
In the event of arbitration, the parties shall select the arbitrator or, if they fail to do so, the Circuit Court Judge shall select the arbitrator. The expenses of the arbitration and compensation of the arbitrator shall be borne by the grantee. The arbitration award shall be binding upon the parties.

§ 242-23 Federal regulations.

This chapter shall be amended to incorporate all amendments to the statutes, rules and regulations of the federal government as they are promulgated by the federal government. Any provision herein in conflict with or preempted by said rules, regulations or statutes shall be superseded.

§ 242-24 Protection of nonsubscribers.

A grantee shall at all times keep its cables and other appurtenances used for transmitting signals shielded in such a manner that there will be no interference with signals received by radios or televisions not connected to the grantee's service.

§ 242-25 Grantee rules.

A grantee may promulgate such rules, regulations, terms and conditions governing the conduct of its business as shall be reasonably necessary to enable the grantee to exercise its rights and perform its obligations under the franchise and to assure uninterrupted service to all its subscribers. However, such rules, regulations, terms and conditions shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this chapter or the laws of the state.

§ 242-26 Waiver of objections.

By the adoption of this chapter, the Town expressly waives all objections it has or may have to the legal rights of the grantee to attach its cables, equipment, and transmission lines to the poles of the Town, pursuant to an agreement, or to the poles of the public utilities and the authority of such public utilities to grant such right to the grantee.

§ 242-27 Grantee without recourse.

A grantee shall have no recourse whatsoever against the Town for any loss, cost or expense, or damage arising out of any provisions or requirements of a franchise or because of the enforcement thereof by the Town, or for the failure of the Town to have authority to grant all or any part of the franchise. The grantee expressly acknowledges that in accepting any franchise it does so relying on its own investigation and the understanding of the power and authority of the Town to grant the franchise. By accepting a franchise, a grantee acknowledges that it has not been induced to enter into the franchise by any understanding or promise or other statement, whether verbal or written, by or on behalf of the Town or by any other third person concerning any term or condition of the franchise not expressed herein. The grantee further acknowledges by acceptance of the franchise that it has carefully read the terms and conditions thereof and is willing to and does accept all the risks of meeting such terms and conditions and agrees that in the event of any ambiguity therein or in the event of any dispute over the meaning thereof the same shall be construed strictly against the grantee and in favor of the Town.

§ 242-28 Work performed by others.

A. 
A grantee shall give prior notice to the Town specifying the names and addresses of any entity, other than the grantee, that performs services pursuant to the franchise; provided, however, that all provisions of the franchise remain the responsibility of the grantee.
B. 
All provisions of any franchise shall apply to any subcontractor or others performing any work or services pursuant to the provisions of the franchise. The Town requests notice of any new construction within its boundaries.

§ 242-29 Contest of validity.

The grantee agrees by acceptance of a franchise that it will not at any time set up against the Town in a claim for proceeding any condition or term of the franchise as unreasonable, arbitrary or void, or that the Town had no proper authority to make such term or condition, but shall be required to accept the validity of the terms and conditions of the franchise in their entirety.

§ 242-30 Violations and penalties.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to make any unauthorized connection, whether physically, electrically, acoustically, inductively or otherwise, with any part of the company's community antenna system within this Town for the purpose of enabling himself, itself or others to receive any television signal, radio signal, picture, program or sound without payment to the company.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, without the consent of the company, to willfully tamper with, remove or injure any cables, wires or equipment used for distribution of television signals, radio signals, picture, programs or sound.
C. 
Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of § 242-17 and/or this section shall be subject to a forfeiture not to exceed $300 for each day of violation or failure to comply.