Chapter 5.45


5.45.010    Definitions.

5.45.020    Franchise requirement.

5.45.030    Request for proposal.

5.45.040    Franchise – Rate approvals.

5.45.050    Franchise fees.

5.45.060    Franchise rights.

5.45.070    Installation of cables.

5.45.080    Interference with traffic.

5.45.090    Filing of plans.

5.45.100    Safety of any future systems.

5.45.110    Changes of grade.

5.45.120    Furnishing of cable services.

5.45.130    Procedures for investigation and resolution of all complaints regarding quality of service, equipment malfunctions, etc.

5.45.140    Basic capability of system.

5.45.150    Liability of City to others.

5.45.160    Liability insurance.

5.45.170    Safety of employees.

5.45.180    Surety bond.

5.45.190    Violations.

5.45.200    Assignment of franchise.

5.45.210    Revocation of franchise.

5.45.220    Failure to provide service.

5.45.230    Other business activities.

5.45.240    Limit of franchise.

5.45.250    Equal opportunity and affirmative action provisions.

5.45.010 Definitions.

A. “Community antenna television system” means a facility utilizing a receiving antenna or antennas, connecting wire, cable or relay facilities and associated equipment for the reception by subscribing members of the public of the television and radio signals of one or more broadcast stations, and of locally originated programming.

B. “Person” means one or more persons of either sex, corporations, partnerships, associations, or any other entity capable of having an action at law brought against such entity.

C. “Franchise holder” means any person who has a current franchise from the City Council of the City of Mountlake Terrace to install, operate and maintain a community antenna television system. (Ord. 951 § 1, 1974; Ord. 875 § 1, 1973).

5.45.020 Franchise requirement.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or maintain a community antenna television system, or any part thereof, making use of the public rights-of-way of the City of Mountlake Terrace unless that person shall have first secured a franchise therefor in the manner provided in this chapter. The licenses required under this chapter are separate from and in addition to the business license that may be required under Chapter 5.05 MTMC when applicable. (Ord. 2764 § 11, 2019; Ord. 875 § 2, 1973).

5.45.030 Request for proposal.

A. The City Council may at such time as they may deem it in the interest of the City make public requests for proposals from community antenna television firms for a franchise to operate within the City of Mountlake Terrace.

B. Any firm wishing to make application shall be required to submit a written proposal together with a $200.00 application fee. Said fee shall be returned only to those applicants that are not granted a franchise.

C. The proposal submitted shall contain the following information:

1. The name and address of the applicant. If the applicant is a partnership, the name and address of each partner shall also be set forth. If the applicant is a corporation, the corporation shall also state the names and addresses of its officers, directors, main offices, major stockholders, and the names and addresses of its parent, affiliated and subsidiary companies. For the purpose of this chapter and of any franchise granted hereafter, a major stockholder shall be defined as the owner of five percent or more of the stock of any corporation.

2. The number of years in the community antenna television field.

3. List of present franchises held in the state of Washington.

4. Tabulation of total capital investment, total cable mileage, total customers, and present rates for each franchise held in the state of Washington.

5. Proposed capital investment in Mountlake Terrace broken down by system components, with a depreciation schedule for each component.

6. Proposed organization to operate and maintain Mountlake Terrace system including location of office and any provision for customer service during nonwork hours.

7. A proposed location within the City limits of Mountlake Terrace for head end equipment and the signal strength at such location. Signal strength at any alternate location proposed outside the City limits of Mountlake Terrace.

8. Financial references such as banks or savings and loan associations that the firm has done business with.

9. The rates contemplated to be charged by franchise holder for monthly service and initial installation.

10. The extent, type, variety, and range of service and programming that can be offered.

11. The specific area which the firm wishes to supply service to in the City.

12. Proposed construction schedule within Mountlake Terrace.

13. Any additional information the owner may wish to submit in support of his application.

14. A statement that the proposed franchisee will comply with all City ordinances and all elements of his proposal which may be specified by the City Council and that he understands that failure to do so shall constitute a violation of the franchise agreement thereby subjecting the franchise to unilateral cancellation by the City Council of the City of Mountlake Terrace.

15. The cost, if any, to the City of Mountlake Terrace for utility purpose channels specified in MTMC 5.45.140.

16. The number and cost, if any, of educational channels to be provided pursuant to MTMC 5.45.140.

D. Proposals shall be submitted to the City Council. All proposals will be reviewed at a public hearing before the City Council to evaluate the merits of each application.

E. The City Council may by appropriate resolution grant a franchise to the selected applicant. (Ord. 875 § 3, 1973).

5.45.040 Franchise – Rate approvals.

A. A franchise granted by the City Council upon the finding of that body that the franchise has met all requirements of this chapter and ordinances of the City shall be deemed to constitute a franchise to provide television cable service within the City of Mountlake Terrace.

B. Such franchise shall remain in force until revoked as elsewhere set forth in this chapter, but in no event shall such franchise be in effect for any period greater than 15 years from the date of issuance without a renewal thereof, such renewal term to be for a period not to exceed 15 years, which shall be issued only after a full public proceeding affording due process and reviewing the franchise holder’s performance and the adequacy of the franchise and the consistency of the franchise with the Rules of the Federal Communications Commission. At the termination of the franchise by expiration or revocation unless the franchise is renewed, the franchisee shall at its own cost and expense remove all construction and installations hereby authorized and shall place all portions of streets and other property that have been disturbed in as good condition as the abutting portions thereof.

C. Such franchise shall be granted upon approval of the initial rates and charges to be made by the franchise holder for installation and service rendered by it to its customers, as contained in the original proposal or any amendment thereof. No rates or charges for such purposes shall be changed by franchise holder from that approved in said franchise until the same shall have been approved by the City Council after a public hearing on the matter. Any request for rate increase shall be documented by complete financial reports including yearly balance sheets and profit and loss statements. (Ord. 1018, 1975; Ord. 875 § 4, 1973).

5.45.050 Franchise fees.

The annual franchise fee shall be payable quarterly at a rate of five percent of the gross receipts collected by the franchise holder for the sale of its service in the City of Mountlake Terrace in the preceding calendar quarter and shall be paid within 20 days after the end of each calendar quarter. All franchise holders shall make available to the City, upon reasonable request, the franchise holders books and customer list for verification of permit fees. Franchise fees shall be in lieu of other business license fees of the City. (Ord. 1586, 1984; Ord. 875 § 5, 1973).

5.45.060 Franchise rights.

Franchise holder shall have the privilege, right, and authority to:

A. Construct, install, maintain and operate a coaxial cable subscriber system for television, radio and other audiovisual electrical signal distribution, using the streets, alleys, public highways and public places of the City of Mountlake Terrace, with the necessary manholes and other appurtenances therefor;

B. To install, maintain and operate, antenna towers, lines, cables, necessary wiring and other apparatus for the purpose of receiving, amplifying, and distributing television, electronic, electrical and radio signals, audio and video to persons, business establishments and public places in the City of Mountlake Terrace;

C. To charge its customers both a connection or installation fee to bring the service to their properties, and a monthly fee for their continued use of the service. (Ord. 875 § 6, 1973).

5.45.070 Installation of cables.

Any cable television franchise granted by the City of Mountlake Terrace shall have the right to use existing utility poles to place its cable and related equipment, in concurrence with its pole line agreements. Distribution and service lines shall be placed underground, in those areas that are presently being served by underground utilities. At such time as other existing overhead utility lines are placed underground either voluntarily, or by Local Improvement District formation, or other statutory means, all overhead cable television distribution and service lines shall also be placed underground. Grantee shall finance their proportionate share of cost of undergrounding the cable television system. (Ord. 875 § 7, 1973).

5.45.080 Interference with traffic.

A franchise holder’s facilities shall be so located and so installed as not to interfere with traffic over said streets, avenues, alleys, highways, bridges, easements, and other public places so as to permit reasonable egress from and ingress to abutting property. Franchise holder shall not break up, excavate or block any street or alley or public thoroughfare without prior approval from the City Engineer in accordance with applicable City ordinances. When any portion of a street is excavated by franchise holder in the location, relocation, replacement, or repair of any of its facilities, the portion of the street so excavated, shall within a reasonable time and as early as the City Engineer deems practicable after said excavation, be replaced by the franchise holder at its expense and in as good a condition as it was at the time of such excavation, all being in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations of the City. (Ord. 875 § 8, 1973).

5.45.090 Filing of plans.

Before franchise holder shall lay underground or install overhead said coaxial cable along any street, avenue, alley, highway, or other public place within the present or future corporate limits of the City, franchise holder shall file with the City Engineer a map showing the proposed location, height and depth thereof in such street, avenue, alley, easement, highway, or other public place by surveyed measurements. If the location proposed does not interfere with the existing or contemplated sewers, water pipes, or other public utilities, or violate ordinances of the City of Mountlake Terrace, said Engineer shall approve said map, and the same shall hereafter be considered the official location of said coaxial cable or conduits, but if said proposed location would interfere with said existing or contemplated sewers, water pipes, or other public utilities or violate any ordinance of the City of Mountlake Terrace, said Engineer shall furnish the franchise holder with data so that an acceptable map of location of such conduits or cables may be filed. The City shall not be held liable for any disturbance of franchise holder’s installations, resulting from any future altering, repairing or installation of streets or sewer or water installation. (Ord. 875 § 9, 1973).

5.45.100 Safety of any future systems.

The City reserves the right to determine that any system is constructed and maintained in a safe condition, and if an unsafe condition is found to exist, to require the franchise holder to make necessary repairs and alterations forthwith, and if the franchise holder fails to make the necessary repairs and alterations, the City may make them or have them made and collect all cost and expense thereof from the franchise holder, including all costs of collection, including reasonable attorney’s fees and court costs. (Ord. 875 § 10, 1973).

5.45.110 Changes of grade.

Whenever the prosecuting of any public work by the City shall involve the establishment or change of any street grade (established or otherwise), or sewer, water pipe, or other public facility or utility and the same shall cross or require change of conduit, cable or apparatus located in any street, avenue, alley, highway, or other public place under and by virtue of any ordinance, the same shall be changed by the franchise holder at its own expense after reasonable notice in writing of not less than 15 days to make the changes from the City Engineer. (Ord. 875 § 11, 1973).

5.45.120 Furnishing of cable services.

At all times during the term of any franchise issued pursuant to this chapter, franchise holder shall promptly and without discrimination furnish services upon request to persons and business establishments of the City of Mountlake Terrace in conformance with reasonable rules and regulations of the franchise holder and in conformance with an approved schedule of service extensions within the franchised area. Service shall include television and radio signals of the highest quality so that both sound and picture produced are free from audible or visible ghosting, which the state of the art at the time of installation will allow and also shall be equal to or better than required by the rules and regulations of any applicable federal, state, or local agency having regulatory authority over community antenna television systems. The franchise holder shall also provide such repairs as are necessary at no fee to the subscriber to provide a quality signal, and must respond to a call within 24 hours after a call is received. The repair men must be available during normal business hours and until 8:00 p.m. The franchise holder shall acquire, construct, maintain, equip, and operate all necessary facilities for the reception, transmission, distribution, and sale of television and radio signals for the benefit and convenience of the City’s inhabitants, and shall make improvements including but not limited to technical and physical alteration of said system as required by federal, state, or local laws and regulations when and where such laws and regulations are deemed applicable by agencies or bodies of the government administering said laws and regulations. The City of Mountlake Terrace further reserves the right to amend this chapter in accordance with such laws and regulations. (Ord. 875 § 12, 1973).

5.45.130 Procedures for investigation and resolution of all complaints regarding quality of service, equipment malfunctions, etc.

A. The franchise shall maintain a local business office or agent to deal with complaints regarding cable service.

B. The local business office or agent shall be available during normal business hours and a 24-hour answering service shall be maintained by the franchisee to receive complaints from subscribers.

C. The franchisee shall investigate and satisfactorily resolve all complaints as soon as possible. (Ord. 1130, 1977; Ord. 875 § 12.1, 1973).

5.45.140 Basic capability of system.

In addition to any federal, state, or local regulations and requirements governing the design, use, and provision of service of the community antenna television system the franchise holder shall be required to meet the following:

A. Two-way (nonvoice) capability to each subscriber of cable service.

B. Interconnectability to the school district serving the City, the Snohomish County Courthouse, and the Mountlake Terrace City Hall.

C. The availability of two-way capability for utility and other civic purposes with a minimum of two channels for such purposes.

D. Provision in the system for a channel for the use of the City, such channel to be made available to the City without charge for five years.

E. The provision of a minimum of 30 channels to the service area covered by the franchise.

F. The provision for one educational television channel.

G. The availability of a basic converter at no charge to customer to allow the subscriber to switch off cable and go back to his normal method of reception when there is trouble on the cable.

H. The availability of the franchise holder’s studio facilities including color cameras and other equipment, for use by public and private schools for local origination programs and for closed circuit educational films subject to reasonable rules and regulations pertaining to such use by the franchise holder and in such manner as to not duly interfere with the cable television operations of a franchise holder. Services rendered by the franchise holder to all users shall at all times be as good as the state of the art allows.

I. The ability for the City Manager, or Mayor, or his designee, to pre-empt the system at any time for making emergency announcements, in times of natural disasters. (Ord. 1018, 1975; Ord. 875 § 13, 1973).

5.45.150 Liability of City to others.

Franchise holders shall at all times protect and hold harmless the City, from all claims, actions, suits, liability loss, expense, or damage of every kind and description, including court costs and attorney’s fees, which may accrue to or be suffered or claimed by any person or persons, or the City itself, arising out of the ownership, construction, or operation of said community antenna television system and by reason of any license, copyright, property right, or other intangible, or patent of any article or system used in the construction or use of said system. (Ord. 875 § 14, 1973).

5.45.160 Liability insurance.

Franchise holder shall maintain in full force and effect during the life of any franchise issued pursuant to this chapter, public liability insurance in a solvent surety company authorized to do business in the state of Washington in the following amounts:

A. $100,000 for property damage to any one person;

B. $300,000 for property damage to any one accident;

C. $300,000 for personal injury to any one person;

D. $300,000 for personal injury in any one accident.

A certification of said policy or policies, authenticated by the insurance carrier or carriers shall be filed with the City Clerk and likewise certification of renewals shall be filed showing the above coverage for the duration of the franchise. (Ord. 875 § 15, 1973).

5.45.170 Safety of employees.

Franchise holder shall carry workman’s compensation insurance and comply with all the workmen’s insurance and safety laws of the state of Washington and amendments thereto. (Ord. 875 § 16, 1973).

5.45.180 Surety bond.

Franchise holder shall post a surety bond in the face amount of $5,000 with one or more sufficient sureties satisfactory to the City Attorney, which bond shall be in effect at all times during the period of any franchise issued pursuant to this chapter. Said bond shall insure and guarantee the faithful performance by the franchise holder of all the terms, conditions and requirements of this chapter and franchise thereunder, including, but not limited to, any and all construction by franchise holder, its agents, or subcontractors, specifically including but not limited in the conditions that the applicant will indemnify and save the said City harmless from all claims, actions or damages of every kind and description which may accrue to, or be suffered by, any person by reason of any construction or any opening in any street, alley, avenue, or other public or private property to as good a state or condition as at the time of the commencement of said work, and providing a recovery on the bond in case of failure to perform any of the terms and conditions of this chapter or franchise granted hereunder. (Ord. 875 § 17, 1973).

5.45.190 Violations.

Any person violating or failing to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine in any sum not exceeding $600.00 and each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense. Such penalty may be in addition to the loss of franchise as provided elsewhere herein. (Ord. 875 § 18, 1973).

5.45.200 Assignment of franchise.

Except for a mortgage to secure a loan or loans to construct and operate said system, franchise holder shall not sell, transfer, assign, merge, consolidate, or sublet its system and the privilege granted herein without first securing approval of the City Council as to the qualifications, as outlined in MTMC 5.45.030(C), of the purchasers, transferee, assignee or sublessee. All conditions applying to the original franchise holder shall apply to any purchaser, transferee, assignee, or sublessee. (Ord. 875 § 19, 1973).

5.45.210 Revocation of franchise.

Such franchises as issued shall be subject to revocation at any time by the City of Mountlake Terrace upon a finding by the City Council that the franchise fees provided herein have not been paid; that the capability of such franchise holder has been so diminished that it is no longer able to offer proper service; that the service provided by such franchise holder is not adequate as set forth hereinabove; that said franchise holder has acted in derogation of the ordinances of the City of Mountlake Terrace or the laws of the state of Washington, or laws or regulations of the United States or its agencies; or that franchise holder has not complied with provisions specified in his proposal accepted and specified by the Mountlake Terrace City Council, or that the activities of franchise holder under said franchise for any reason are unlawful or transgress established rights of others. Such revocation shall be made only after a public hearing upon the matter has been held, and reasonable notice of said hearing having been given franchise holder in writing at least 30 days prior to said hearing directed to the address stated by the franchise holder in his application. Such revocation shall be subject to a de novo review by the Snohomish County Superior Court, provided suit is filed by the aggrieved parties within 30 days of the final determination by the City Council and any final determination by the City Council shall be held in abeyance for said 30 days pending and until decision of the Snohomish County Superior Court thereon if suit is filed in accordance herewith. (Ord. 951 § 1, 1974; Ord. 875 § 20, 1973).

5.45.220 Failure to provide service.

If any franchise holder fails to place firm orders for equipment to commence construction of the community antenna television system within six months from the date of issuance of FCC certificate of compliance or fails to begin operation, consisting of the transmission of electronic signals to subscribers, within a period of one year from the date of issuance of said certificate, the franchise shall be forfeited, nullified, cease and be of no further force or validity, upon receipt by franchise holder of written notice thereof from the City of Mountlake Terrace and said franchise holder’s application fee shall thereupon be forfeited; provided, however, that upon good cause being shown therefor, an extension of time within which franchise holder is to begin operation may be granted by the City Council of the City of Mountlake Terrace. (Ord. 875 § 21, 1973).

5.45.230 Other business activities.

Neither the franchise holder hereunder, nor any person, firm or corporation operating for, under, or through the franchise holder shall engage in the business of selling, repairing or installing television receivers, radio receivers, or accessories for either such receivers within the City during the term of any franchise. (Ord. 875 § 22, 1973).

5.45.240 Limit of franchise.

Nothing in this chapter, or any permit granted thereunder, shall be construed to mean or in any way imply that the City of Mountlake Terrace has authorized the use or given permission to any franchise holder to use a radio or television signal not originated by the franchise holder. It being the intent of this chapter only to protect the health, welfare, safety, and morals of its residents in the distribution by cable of said signals, and by the passage of the ordinance codified in this chapter, or by granting a franchise thereunder, said City in no way authorized or gives rights to a franchise holder to use a radio or television signal, that function being entirely left up to the franchise holder at his, her, or its own peril. (Ord. 875 § 24, 1973).

5.45.250 Equal opportunity and affirmative action provisions.

A. The franchisee shall not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, age, or nationality in employment, including the upgrading, demotion, recruiting, transfer, layoff, termination, pay rate, or advertisement for employment of persons.

B. The franchisee shall establish (if not already in existence) and maintain an affirmative action program developed and designed to increase minority participation in its employment program at all levels and to ensure that company policy toward equal opportunity is an actively positive one. (Ord. 1130, 1977; Ord. 875 § 25, 1973).