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(A) Annual registration required. Every utility that occupies a right-of-way within the city shall register on January 1 of each year with the City Engineer, providing the utility’s name, address and regular business telephone and telecopy numbers, the name of one or more contact persons who can act on behalf of the utility in connection with emergencies involving the utility’s facilities in the right-of-way, and a 24-hour telephone number for each such person, and evidence of insurance, as required in § 53.08 of this chapter, in the form of a certificate of insurance.
(B) Franchise or license application required. An application for a franchise or license, on city forms, shall be presented to the Director of Public Works in writing, and shall include all such information as is required by this section. The utility shall be responsible for accurately maintaining the information in the application during the term of any franchise, and shall be responsible for all costs incurred by the city due to the failure to provide or maintain as accurate any application information required herein. Wherever any application or code requirement is claimed to be preempted by state or federal law, as applied to the circumstances of the applicant and proposed use in the city, such preemption shall be specifically stated, citing the precise provision of law and the specific requirement claimed to be preempted, along with documentation establishing applicability to the circumstances or applicant at issue.
(C) Application deposit fee. Except where inconsistent with applicable law, a $2,500 application deposit fee for review, documentation and approval of such franchise is required to be submitted with the application form to recover any actual costs anticipated and incurred by the city in reviewing, documenting or negotiating such franchise, provided that no costs shall be included if such inclusion is prohibited by applicable law as to that person. If the actual costs are thereafter determined to be less than the application deposit fee, such amount shall be returned to the person, after written request therefrom. If the actual costs exceed the application deposit fee, such person shall pay such additional amount prior to issuance of any final city approval after written notice from the city.
(D) Application form. An applicant shall submit a completed application for a franchise on such form provided by the city, which shall include information necessary to determine compliance with this chapter, including, but not limited to:
(1) Identity and legal status of the applicant;
(2) Name, address, telephone number and email address of each officer, agent or employee responsible for the accuracy of the application. Each officer, agent or employee shall be familiar with the local facilities of the applicant, shall be the person(s) to whom notices shall be sent, and shall be responsible for facilitating all necessary communications, including, but not limited to, certification to the city of any material changes to the information provided in such completed application during the term of any franchise;
(3) Name, address, telephone number and email address of the local representative of the applicant, who shall be available at all times to act on behalf of the applicant in the event of an emergency;
(4) Proof of any necessary permit, license, certification, grant, registration, franchise, agreement or any other authorization required by any appropriate governmental entity, including, but not limited to, the FCC;
(5) Description of the applicant’s intended use of the rights-of-way, including such information as to proposed services so as to determine the applicable, federal, state and local regulatory provisions as may apply to such person;
(6) A list of authorized agents, contractors and subcontractors eligible to obtain permits on behalf of the applicant. The list may be updated to add such person at the time of permit application if the updated information on the application is submitted by an authorized representative of the applicant;
(7) Evidence of insurance, as required in § 53.08 of this chapter, in the form of a certificate of insurance information sufficient to determine the amount of net assets of the applicant;
(8) Information sufficient to determine whether the applicant is subject under applicable law to franchising, service regulation, payment of compensation for the use of the rights-of-way, taxation or other requirements of the city;
(9) Any request to provide telecommunications shall also include all requirements set forth in the Telephone Company Act (ILCS Ch. 220, Act 65, §§ 0.01 et. seq.) or other applicable law; and
(10) Such other information as may be reasonably required by the Director of Public Works to determine requirements and compliance with applicable regulations.
(E) Standard for approval or renewal of franchises. In reviewing an application for a new or renewal of a franchise, the city may consider prior conduct of the person in performance of its obligations or compliance with the city’s ordinances in the past, or the existence of any outstanding violations or deficiencies. The city may deny or condition any franchise where the proposed use would interfere with the public use of the rights-of-way or otherwise conflict with the legitimate public interests of the city or as otherwise provided by law. Applications for franchises may be approved, denied or approved with conditions consistent with requirements of applicable law or other applicable requirements as may be necessary to fulfill the requirements and objectives of this chapter.
(F) Approval process. After submission by the applicant of a duly executed and completed application, including applicable application deposit fee, and an executed franchise as may be provided by the Director of Public Works or as modified by the Director of Public Works in review of the specific circumstances of the application, all in conformity with the requirements of this chapter and all applicable laws, the Director of Public Works shall submit the franchise agreement to the City Council for approval. Upon determining compliance with this chapter, the City Council may authorize execution of the franchise (or a modified agreement otherwise acceptable to the city consistent with the purposes of this chapter), and such executed franchise shall constitute consent to use the rights-of-way; provided that nothing herein shall preclude the rejection or modification of any executed franchise submitted to the city, to the extent applicable law does not prohibit such rejection or modification, including, where necessary to reasonably, and in a uniform or nondiscriminatory manner, reflect the distinct engineering, construction, operation, maintenance, public work or safety requirements applicable to the person.
(G) Administrative approval process; form franchises.
(1) Various communication related users of the ROW may be subject to various and differing state and federal approval requirements, including timing requirements for expedited or shorter approval times. Accordingly, the City Administrator shall have the authority pursuant to this division (G) to execute on behalf of the city such franchise agreements as provided below that are identical to, or substantially the same as, the city’s “form” franchises currently on file with the City Clerk, and incorporated herein, where such franchise terms fully comply with applicable law under the application and applicant at issue. Such administrative City Administrator approval be authorized only for the following circumstance which may require more expedited approvals:
(a) A franchise authorizing use of the ROW for facilities authorized solely to provide “telecommunications at retail” as are subject to specific state law definitions and requirements, specifically being limited to such services as “sale of telecommunications at retail” as defined in ILCS Ch. 35, Act 635, § 10 and “telecommunications” “sale at retail” as defined in ILCS Ch. 35, Act 636, § 5-7 as may be applicable; and
(b) A franchise authorizing use of the ROW for facilities authorized to provide communications services that may include both such “telecommunications at retail” (being limited to such services as “sale of telecommunications at retail” as defined in ILCS Ch. 35, Act 635, § 10 and “telecommunications” “sale at retail” as defined in ILCS Ch. 35, Act 636, § 5-7 as may be applicable), and other services or facilities (including but not limited to wholesale, dark fiber or other communications services that are not “telecommunications at retail” and are subject to the city’s linear foot fee as provided for in § 53.23, except where may be otherwise provided by applicable law).
(2) To the extent not prohibited by applicable law, the City Administrator may execute these form franchise agreements with applicants without any additional approval by the City Council upon determination by the City Administrator that the applicant satisfies the city’s requirements and policies for issuance of a franchise pursuant to this code. Failure to include a specific form franchise shall in no way preclude an applicant seeking to utilize the city’s rights-of-way for any authorized service from applying for such a franchise and receiving authorization as provided for by the City Council in this division (G). The administrative approval process in this division (G) shall not be available for any franchise or license not provided for herein or any franchise or license for which the City Administrator determines there are material changes to the form, or where full compliance with the code has not been demonstrated. Upon determination by the City Administrator that a form franchise agreement (or such form with any minor or ministerial changes or clarifications from the application or review that are consistent with the purposes of the policies and code of the city) may be properly issued based on the application submitted, the City Administrator may so indicate to the applicant and request an executed copy be returned to the city for execution by the City Administrator within a reasonable time period stated. If actual or potential regulatory or other deadlines warrant more immediate action by the city, the City Administrator may alternatively send to the applicant the completed franchise agreement already executed by the City Administrator, which franchise agreement shall be valid only if thereafter executed by applicant, dated and returned to the city all within seven calendar days of the date of execution by the City Administrator. For purposes of this division (G), RETURNED TO THE CITY shall mean a complying document delivered to City Hall and date and time stamped by the counter clerk of such receipt. No franchise or license shall be valid to authorize use of the ROW if not executed by both parties in conformance with all applicable requirements of this code. Such executed transmittal to the applicant shall be deemed completion of the city’s obligation under any applicable time requirements for a final decision
(1999 Code, § 53.03) (Ord. 3694, passed 10-18-2010; Ord. 4016, passed 12-4-2017; Ord. 4090, passed 4-1-2019) Penalty, see § 53.99