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(A) The administration of this chapter or the franchise agreement imposes upon the county additional regulatory responsibility and expense and in consideration for permission to use the public rights-of-way of the county for the construction, operation and maintenance, of a cable system within the county, a grantee of any franchise hereunder shall pay to the county a franchise fee in an amount as designated in the franchise agreement, up to the maximum amount allowed by applicable law. To the extent that applicable law changes the maximum authorized franchise fee, the county reserves the right to change the franchise fee as stated in the franchise agreement, by adopting an ordinance establishing the new franchise fee rate and allowing reasonable notice to the grantee for administration of the change. The county shall hold a public hearing prior to adopting any change in the franchise fee.
(B) Payments due the grantor under this section shall be computed quarterly, for the preceding quarter. Each quarterly payment shall be due and payable no later than 45 days after the end of the preceding quarter. Each payment shall be accompanied by a brief report by a grantee showing the basis for the computation and a “franchise fee worksheet” listing all of the sources of revenues attributable to the operation of the grantee’s system in the county. All such payments shall be certified as correct by an officer of the grantee.
(C) No acceptance of any payment shall be construed as an accord that the amount paid is in fact the correct amount, nor shall such acceptance of payment be construed as a release of any claim the grantor may have for further sums payable under the provisions of this chapter or a franchise agreement. All amounts paid shall be subject to audit and re-computation by grantor or its designee at any time during any calendar year (but not more than once per calendar year) upon 20 calendar days’ notice, which shall include a request for any documents sought to be reviewed. Audits shall be at the expense of the grantee if the additional amount due is greater than 2% of the amount paid. Any additional amount due to the county as a result of the audit shall be paid within 60 days following written notice to the grantee by the county which notice shall include a copy of the audit report. The grantor’s right to audit and the grantee’s obligation to retain records related to the franchise fee audit, shall expire three years from the date on which the most recent franchise fee payment by the grantee was due from the time of written notice.
(D) In the event that any franchise payment or recomputed amount is not made on or before the dates specified herein, the grantee shall pay as additional compensation an interest charge, computed from such due date, at the annual rate equal to the commercial prime interest rate of the county’s primary depository bank during the period that such unpaid amount is owed.
(Ord. passed 12-19-2005)