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ORDINANCE NO. 1626 OF 2012

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ORDINANCE NO. 1626 OF 2012
ORDINANCE IMPLEMENTING THE PROVISIONS OF THE CONSUMER CHOICE FOR TELEVISION ACT CODIFIED AT LA. R.S. 45:1361, ET SEQ, IN THE CITY OF RUSTON, LOUISIANA
WHEREAS, the City of Ruston, Louisiana (the “City”) desires to adopt this Ordinance to comply with the provisions of LA. R.S. 45:1361, et seq., known as the “Consumer Choice for Television Act,” (the “Act”); and, WHEREAS, Cebridge Acquisition, L.P., d/b/a Suddenlink Communications, (“Suddenlink”), has applied for a State Cable and Video Franchise Certificate in accordance with the Act (the “State Franchise Certificate”); and, WHEREAS, pursuant to the Act, the City is permitted certain rights and requirements with respect to the operation and services of Suddenlink, based on its State Franchise Certificate, within the City and through the use of the rights of way of City, and certain requirements in the Act require City to adopt an ordinance or franchise notice to Suddenlink to initiate the requirement(s) by City; and, WHEREAS, it is the intent of the City pursuant to this Ordinance to adopt all requirements within the Act, to preserve the authority and rights of the City pursuant to the Act, and to provide notification to Suddenlink by the City as is required by the Act for certain provisions within the Act to be effective as requirements of the City; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF ALDERMEN OF THE CITY OF RUSTON, LOUISIANA:
§1. The provisions of the Act (codified at La. R.S. 45:1361 et seq.) are hereby adopted by reference as if written herein in full.
§2. The terms used in this Ordinance are as defined in La. R.S. 45:1363.
§3. The amount of the quarterly franchise fee shall be five percent (5%) of the gross revenues as defined by La. R.S. 45:1363(8) as fixed, levied and collectible in accordance with the provisions of La. R.S. 45: 1361, et seq, and such other amounts as are authorized by law.
A. The quarterly franchise fee shall be made within forty-five (45) days after the end of the preceding quarter for which payment is being made and shall be accompanied by a statement showing the gross revenues attributable to the City of Ruston for that quarter.
B. Noting in this article shall restrict the right of the City to impose on any cable and/or video service ad valorem taxes, service fees, sales and use taxes or other taxes and fees lawfully imposed on other businesses which may be lawfully imposed upon cable and/or other video service providers.
C. All franchise fees levied herein shall be due and payable within forty-five (45) days after the end of the quarter. All unpaid fees shall become delinquent on the forty-sixth (46) day after the end of the quarter for which the fees are due and payable.
1. Payment of shall be made payable to the City in Office of the Treasurer at Ruston City Hall accompanied by a statement showing the certificate holder's gross revenues attributable to the City for that quarter.
2. If Suddenlink fails to pay the fees as set forth in this Ordinance, or any portion thereof, on or before the forty-sixth (46) day following the quarter, interest at a rate of one and one-quarter percent (1.25%) per month shall be added to the amount of fees due and such interest shall be computed from the due date until the fee is paid.
3. In addition to the interest changed on delinquent taxes there shall be imposed a penalty of five percent (5%) of the total fee due if the failure or delinquency is not for more than thirty (30) days, with an additional five percent (5%) of each additional thirty (30) days or fraction thereof.
4. The City of Ruston maintains its rights under La. R.S. 45:1367 to audit the business records of Suddenlink to the extent necessary to ensure payment of the franchise fee in accordance with this article and payment of any applicable service fees, sales and use taxes or other taxes and fees lawfully imposed on other businesses which may be lawfully imposed upon Suddenlink.
5. The procedures for resolution of disputes between City and Suddenlink shall be in conformance with La. R.S. 45:1367.
D. The franchise fee set forth herein shall be in lieu of any permit fee, encroachment fee, degradation fee, inspection fee, or other fees assessed by the City of Ruston on Suddenlink for occupation of, or work within, the public rights-of-way.
E. Nothing herein shall exempt Suddenlink from any ordinance regulating the occupation of or work within the rights-of-way of City.
§4. Suddenlink will continue to provide and make available on its cable system within the City the two (2) public, educational and governmental (“PEG”) access channels currently available on its system within the City, in accordance with La. R.S. 45:1369. Additionally, one (1) of the channels shall be made available in the basic subscription service package or tier of Suddenlink.
A. The City may use one (1) PEG access programming stream or channel without restrictions relating to repeat programming and upon notification by City to Suddenlink may require an additional PEG access programming stream or channel subject to the requirements as outlined in La. R.S. 45:1369C. Further, all requirements relating to Suddenlink and the City pursuant to said section La. R.S. 45:1369 shall be conformed to. The City intends by this section to preserve all rights, interests and requirements it may have as outlined in La. R.S. 45:1369 and upon notice at any time to Suddenlink, City may initiate such requirements as permissible. This includes the payment of a PEG access support fee in accordance with at least the following requirements:
1. The amount of the quarterly PEG access fee shall be one-half percent (0.5%) of the gross revenues as defined by La. R.S. 45:1363 (8) as fixed, levied and collectible in accordance with the provisions of La. R.S. 45:1361, et seq and such other amounts as are authorized by law.
2. Payments made under this section shall be made in the same manner as in Section 3.B above and all definitions, exemptions and administrative provisions applicable to franchise fees shall apply to such payments.
3. All payments made to the City under this section shall be used as allowed by federal law only to support the capital costs incurred for the construction and operation of PEG access programming stream or channel content and facilities.
4. No franchise fees as required by Section 3 above shall apply to payments made pursuant to this Section 4.
§5. All franchise fees levied herein shall be due and payable within forty-five (45) days after the end of the quarter. All unpaid fees shall become delinquent on the forty-sixth (46) day after the end of the quarter for which the fees are due and payable.
A. If Suddenlink fails to pay the fees as set forth in this Ordinance, or any portion thereof, on or before the forty-sixth (46) day following the quarter, interest at a rate of one and one-quarter percent (1.25%) per month shall be added to the amount of fees due and such interest shall be computed from the due date until the fee is paid.
B. In addition to the interest changed on delinquent taxes there shall be imposed a penalty of five percent (5%) of the total fee due if the failure or delinquency is not for more than thirty (30) days, with an additional five percent (5%) of each additional thirty (30) days or fraction thereof.
C. The City of Ruston maintains its rights under La. R.S. 45:1367 to audit the business records of Suddenlink to the extent necessary to ensure payment of the franchise fee in accordance with La. R.S. 45:1367 and this Ordinance, and payment of any applicable service fees, sales and use taxes or other taxes and fees lawfully imposed on other businesses which may be lawfully imposed upon Suddenlink, and enforcement and settlement of disputes as is provided for under La. R.S. 45:1367.
§6. The construction, operation and maintenance of the cable and video service system in the rights of way of the City by Suddenlink pursuant to its State Franchise Certificate issued by the Louisiana Secretary of State shall be in compliance with applicable provisions and requirements of the City relating to the use of public rights of way within the City and any ordinance governing the use of the rights of way that is in effect at the time of adoption of this Ordinance or may be hereafter adopted by the City pursuant to its rights to provide for and protect the general public health, safety and welfare of the community, and all applicable federal and state laws.
§7. Connections and use of utility poles owned and operated by City or another entity shall require written permission and required pole attachment agreements. This Ordinance does not permit Suddenlink to utilize existing poles owned by the City or any other entity absent an agreement with such pole owners.
§8. In accordance with La. R.S. 45:1372, Suddenlink shall comply with the Federal Emergency Alert Regulations, as applied by the Federal Communications Commission. Suddenlink and the City shall determine the best manner to meet the community's emergency alert communications requirements in a manner consistent with State and federal law.
§9. In accordance with La. R.S. 45:1371, the customer service standards of the Federal Communications Commission, 47 CFR 76.309(c), are applicable to video and cable service in the City. For reference these standards are attached as Exhibit A.
§10. In accordance with La. R.S. 45:1374A, Suddenlink shall register and provide to the City Clerk of the City a copy of the State Franchise Certificate issued by the Louisiana Secretary of State pursuant to La. R.S. 45:1364, provide and keep current a point of contact, and proof of insurance as required by La. R.S. 45:1354(B)(4) within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Ordinance or prior to offering cable and/or video services within the City, whichever is later.
§11. Any and all previously adopted ordinances in conflict with this Ordinance are hereby repealed. Should any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or provision of this Ordinance be in conflict with any provision of state or federal law, the same shall not affect the validity of this article as a whole, or parts thereof, other than the part declared by a court of competent jurisdiction to be in conflict.
§12. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, or provision of this Ordinance is held invalid for any reason, the remainder of this Ordinance shall not be affected thereby and shall remain in force and effect.
§13. This Ordinance, after it is effective, shall be subject to a periodic review by the City for compliance with applicable state and federal laws.
§14. Consistent with La. R.S. 45:1364 this Ordinance shall be for a term of fifteen (15) years, is renewable, and is non exclusive pursuant to Suddenlink's State Franchise Certificate.
§15. If any one or more of the provisions of this Ordinance shall, for any reason, be held to be illegal or invalid, such illegality or invalidity shall not affect any other provision of this Ordinance, but this Ordinance shall be construed and enforced as if such illegal or invalid provisions had not been contained herein. Any constitutional or statutory provision enacted after the date of this Ordinance which validates or makes legal any provision of this Ordinance which would not otherwise be valid or legal, shall be deemed to apply to this Ordinance.
§16. This Ordinance shall become effective after final adoption. The City Clerk is directed to furnish this Ordinance to Suddenlink as notification to it by City as required by the Act.
This Ordinance was introduced on June 18, 2012, by Alderman Elmore Mayfield, Notice of Public Hearing was published on June 19, 2012, and said public hearing having been held, the title having been read and the Ordinance considered, on motion to adopt by Alderman Elmore Mayfield, seconded by Alderman Jim Pearce, a record vote was taken and the following result was had:
YEA: ALDERWOMAN GLENDA HOWARD
ALDERMAN ELMORE MAYFIELD
ALDERMAN JIM PEARCE
ALDERWOMAN MARIE S. RIGGS
NAY: NONE
ABSENT: ALDERMAN JEDD LEWIS
WHEREUPON, the presiding officer declared the above Ordinance duly adopted on the 29th day of June, 2012.
ATTEST:
EMMETT GIBBS, CLERK DAN HOLLINGSWORTH, MAYOR
1td: July 3, 2012

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