CHAPTER 9: FRANCHISES

Section 9.01, Franchise Required.  
Except as otherwise provided by law, no person, firm or corporation shall place or maintain any permanent or semi-permanent fixtures in, over, upon or under any street or public place for the purpose of operating a public utility, cable television service or for any other purpose, without a franchise therefor from the City.  A franchise shall be granted only by ordinance, which shall not be an emergency ordinance. Every ordinance granting a franchise shall contain all the terms and conditions of the franchise. The grantee shall bear the costs of publication of the franchise ordinance and shall make a sufficient deposit with the Clerk to guarantee publication before the ordinance is passed.

Section 9.02, Term.  
No exclusive or perpetual franchise shall ever be granted. No franchise for a term exceeding fifteen years shall be effective until approved by a majority of electors voting thereon.

Section 9.03, Public Hearing.  
Before any franchise ordinance is adopted or any rates, fares or prices to be charged by a public utility are fixed by the Council, the Council shall hold a public hearing on the matter. Notice of such hearing shall be published at least once in the official newspaper not less than ten days prior to the date of the hearing.

Section 9.04, Power Of Regulation Reserved.  
Subject to any applicable law, the Council may, by ordinance, reasonably regulate and control the exercise of any franchise, including the maximum rates, fares or prices to be charged by the grantee. No franchise value shall be included in the valuation of the grantee’s property in regulating utility rates, fares or prices under any applicable law, ordinance or regulation or in proceedings for municipal acquisition of the grantee’s property by purchase or eminent domain.

Section 9.05, Renewals Or Extensions.  
Every renewal or modification of a franchise, including an existing franchise, shall be subject to the same limitations and shall be granted in the same manner as a new franchise.

Section 9.06, City May Offer Service. 
The City may offer or enter into joint ventures or other business combinations to offer telecommunications and cable television service and any other service for which a franchise is required under Section 9.01.