Chapter 20.06


20.06.010    Payment of fees and compensation to the city.

20.06.020    Right-of-way license, franchise or facilities lease – Application and review fee.

20.06.030    Right-of-way construction permit fee.

20.06.040    Compensation for use of rights-of-way.

20.06.050    Compensation for city property occupancy and use – Facility leases.

20.06.060    Telecommunications system grantee’s costs.

20.06.070    General rules for payment of fees and compensation.

20.06.080    Regulatory fees and compensation not a tax.

20.06.010 Payment of fees and compensation to the city.

It is the purpose of this chapter to ensure that the city, as far as possible, is compensated for the rights granted, and receives fair and reasonable value for use of public rights-of-way and city property over which it exercises control, or which is held in public trust; and that the city is compensated for expenses arising from the use of those public rights-of-way and city property.

The fact that a fee is paid on one type of service provided over a telecommunications system does not excuse a carrier, operator or provider from its duty to pay fees on other services provided over that facility as required by this title. [Ord. 8-00 § 1, 2000].

20.06.020 Right-of-way license, franchise or facilities lease – Application and review fee.

A. Any applicant for an initial, renewal or transfer of a right-of-way license, franchise or facilities lease pursuant to this title shall make an initial deposit with the city, of one-half of one percent of the estimated cost of applicant’s proposed facilities, as certified by the applicant, up to a maximum as set by city council in the master fee schedule. The minimum deposit shall be as set by city council in the master fee schedule.

B. The deposit shall be made as part of the application filed pursuant to this title and shall be used to reimburse the city for its costs to process the application, up to the amount of the applicant’s deposit. The city may, as costs are incurred, draw upon the deposit to recover its administrative costs, including, but not limited to, the reasonable cost of outside consultants retained by the city related to the city’s consideration and processing of a franchise or license.

C. The director, at any time, may require the applicant to deposit additional sums if it appears that the initial deposit or subsequent deposits will be exhausted prior to the final action by the city relating to the consideration by the city of an application for issuance, renewal, transfer or modification of a franchise or license. The applicant will not be entitled to further consideration by the city of its requested action until such time as the additional deposit required by the director has been deposited with the city.

D. In the event the amount of the deposit of an applicant is in excess of the amount of the administrative expenses of the city related to the action requested, then the applicant shall be entitled to a return of any such excess amount.

E. An applicant whose right-of-way license, franchise or facilities lease application has been withdrawn, abandoned or denied shall, within 60 days of submission of the applicant’s application and review fee written request, be refunded the balance of the applicant’s deposit under this section, less:

1. A nonrefundable filing charge as set by city council in the master fee schedule; and

2. All other ascertainable costs and expenses incurred by the city in connection with the application. [Ord. 23-14 § 4 (Att. D), 2014; Ord. 8-00 § 1, 2000].

20.06.030 Right-of-way construction permit fee.

Prior to actual construction, every applicant for a right-of-way license or franchise shall obtain a right-of-way construction permit and pay the right-of-way construction permit fees pursuant to WRMC Title 12, Streets, Sidewalks and Public Places. [Ord. 8-00 § 1, 2000].

20.06.040 Compensation for use of rights-of-way.

RCW 35.21.860 currently prohibits a municipal franchise fee for permission to use the right-of-way from any person engaged in the telephone business, as defined in RCW 82.04.065. The city reserves the right to impose and receive a franchise fee of a percentage, up to the maximum allowed by law, of the grantee’s gross receipts from its business activities in the city if the statutory prohibition is repealed, or for other telecommunications activities not covered by the statutory prohibition. The franchise fee shall be compensation for use of the rights-of-way and shall not be applied as credit towards occupational taxes required under WRMC Title 5, Business Taxes, Licenses and Regulations. [Ord. 8-00 § 1, 2000].

20.06.050 Compensation for city property occupancy and use – Facility leases.

Each facilities lease granted under this title is subject to the city’s right, which is expressly reserved, to fix a fair and reasonable compensation to be paid for the rights granted to the lessee; provided, nothing in this title shall prohibit the city and a lessee from agreeing to the compensation to be paid.

The compensation for a facilities lease shall be based on the area of the property leased and a rate determined by a professional appraiser approved by both the city and the applicant. The applicant shall pay the cost of the appraisal. [Ord. 8-00 § 1, 2000].

20.06.060 Telecommunications system grantee’s costs.

Nothing in this section relieves any telecommunications system grantee of its obligation to bear costs associated with its operations, including but not limited to costs of moving facilities at the direction of the city, unless provisions of the grantee’s tariff filed with the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission otherwise control. If any grantee’s tariff or if a change in the state law alters the responsibility for payment of relocation costs, then all grantees shall comply therewith. [Ord. 8-00 § 1, 2000].

20.06.070 General rules for payment of fees and compensation.

A. Compensation for facilities leases shall be payable in advance of the effective date of the lease and on or before January 31st of each calendar year. Any payments received after the due date shall include interest on the amount owed of one percent per month or fraction thereof compounded monthly.

B. Unless otherwise specified in a franchise or a right-of-way license, franchise and right-of-way use fees or compensation shall be paid to the city monthly, and not later than 25 days after the end of the month for which the fee or compensation is owed. Any payments received after the due date shall include interest on the amount owed of one percent per month or fraction thereof compounded monthly.

C. Unless a franchise or right-of-way license provides otherwise, each franchise or right-of-way use fee payment shall be accompanied by a statement showing the manner in which the fee was calculated. The statement shall be in a form approved by the city.

D. No acceptance by the city of any franchise or right-of-way use fee shall be construed as an accord that the amount paid is in fact the correct amount, nor shall such acceptance of such franchise or right-of-way use fee payment be construed as a release of any claim the city may have for additional sums payable.

E. Within 90 days following the end of the calendar year, each person which paid a franchise or right-of-way use fee based upon gross revenues shall submit a statement, certified as true by the chief financial officer of such person, setting forth gross revenues of the telecommunications system, by category, and describing what revenues were included and excluded in the fee calculation, and any adjustments made to gross revenues. If additional sums are payable, in addition to paying any applicable penalties or damages, the person that owes the additional fee shall pay interest on the amount owed, at the rate of one percent per month or fraction thereof, compounded monthly.

F. The city may, from time to time and upon reasonable advance written notice, inspect and audit any and all books and records reasonably necessary to the determination of whether fees have been accurately computed and paid. The grantee must provide the books and records or copies thereof to the city or advance the costs of travel and per diem for an employee or employees of the city to inspect and copy such books and records at any location more than 50 miles outside the city at which such books and records are kept in the course of business. The city shall treat all records provided by the grantee for inspection and audit as confidential and proprietary information not to be disclosed to others or used for any other purpose.

G. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that a person that is obligated to pay a fee ceases to provide service for any reason (including as a result of a transfer), such person shall make a final payment of any amounts owed to the city within 10 calendar days of the date its operations in the city cease, and shall provide a statement of gross revenues for the calendar year through the dates operations ceased, which statement shall contain the information and certification required by subsection E of this section. [Ord. 8-00 § 1, 2000].

20.06.080 Regulatory fees and compensation not a tax.

The regulatory fees and costs provided for in this chapter, and any compensation charged and paid for the public ways and city property provided for in WRMC 20.06.040 and 20.06.050, are separate from, and additional to, any and all federal, state, local and city taxes as may be levied, imposed or due from carriers, operators, providers, their customers or subscribers, or on account of the lease, sale, delivery or transmission of telecommunications services.

Compensation for use of the rights-of-way, if shown on applicant’s customer bills, shall be identified as such and shall not be shown as, or combined as, other taxes. [Ord. 8-00 § 1, 2000].