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(a) Initial Rates to Subscribers. The grantee may establish initial rates for its services in accordance with the rates contained in grantee's application, as amended, for this franchise.
(b) Rate Change Procedure.
(1) The rates as specified in subsection (a) hereof shall be in effect for a minimum period of two years from the date of providing initial service.
(2) The grantee may establish rates for service from time to time thereafter by filing with the Clerk of Council a schedule of rates proposed and by notifying its subscribers in writing at least sixty days prior to implementation of the rate change.
(3) Council shall have the right to determine whether or not it shall assume rate regulation authority when the grantee achieves sixty percent (60%) penetration of its potential subscribers. If Council declines rate regulation authority, then rates may be modified by the grantee as specified in subsection (b)(2) hereof. If Council assumes rate modification authority, then for the next three years rates shall be subject to modification only by Council and only in accordance with the following procedures:
A. Council shall have the authority to review the following rates, fees and charges:
1. Rates for the provision of basic service to subscribers, whether residential or commercial;
2. Rates for the connection, installation and reinstatement, including converters, of basic service, whether residential or commercial; and
3. Rates for installation, connection and reinstatement of basic service where unusual circumstances exist such as remote or inaccessible subscriber locations or subscriber request for underground service drops.
B. The grantee may petition Council for a change in rates by filing, in triplicate, a proposed rate schedule with the Clerk of Council, which petition shall include the justification(s) for the proposed schedule. Such petition shall be filed at least ninety days prior to the requested implementation date of the rate change. One copy of the petition shall remain on file with the Clerk and be open for public inspection.
C. Within ten days of notification by Council of the place and time established for a hearing on such petition, the grantee shall notify its subscribers of the hearing by announcement on at least two channels of its system between the hours of 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. for five consecutive days. Additionally, hearings shall be announced in a newspaper of general circulation at least five days before the date of the hearing. Following all proper notice but in no event later than ninety days from the date of such petition, Council shall hold an appropriate public hearing to consider the proposed new rates, at which hearing all parties desiring to be heard, including the grantee, shall be heard on any matters relating to the performance of this franchise, the grantee's services and the proposed new rates.
D. Within ninety days after such hearing, Council shall render a written decision on the grantee's position, either accepting, rejecting or modifying the same and reciting the basis of its decision.
E. If Council fails to act within ninety days of the grantee's petition filed pursuant to subsection (b)(3)B. hereof, the grantee shall thereafter be entitled to put its proposed new rates into effect on a provisional basis, provided that it shall keep a full and accurate accounting of all income resulting from such provisional rates and shall be obliged, for a period of six months thereafter, to refund the amount by which such provisional rates exceed the rates ultimately established by Council. Upon request by Council, the grantee shall provide a bond or other reasonable surety to ensure that possible refunds due under this subsection shall be promptly made. The bond or surety shall be in an amount not to exceed the difference between the amount of revenues generated in six months at the previously existing rates and the amount of revenues expected to be generated in six months at the provisional rates. Such bond shall be in a form approved by the Director of Law.
F. The criteria for Council's decision in such matters shall be the establishment of rates which are fair and reasonable to both the grantee and its subscribers and shall be generally defined to be the minimum rates necessary to meet all applicable costs of service, including fair return on all invested capital, all assuming efficient and economical management.
G. In order for Council to determine whether proposed rate changes comport with the criteria established in subsection (b)(3)F. hereof the grantee's petition for a rate increase shall include the following financial reports acceptable to Council and which shall reflect the operations of its cable television system within the City:
1. Balance sheet.
2. Income Statement.
3. Cash flow statement.
4. Statement of sources and application of funds.
5. Detailed supporting schedules of expenses, income, assets and other items as may be required.
6. Statement of current and projected subscribers and penetration.
The grantee's accounting records shall be available for inspection by the City at all reasonable times. The documents listed above shall include sufficient detail and/or footnotes as may be necessary to provide the City with the information needed to make accurate determinations as to the financial condition of the system. All financial statements shall be certified as accurate by an officer of the grantee.
H. Any disagreement between the City and the grantee concerning interpretations and calculations of the financial and statistical information provided by the grantee may be submitted to a court of competent jurisdiction.
(c) All Rates To Be Non-Discriminatory. The grantee shall administer any and all rates and charges so as not to give preference to nor discriminate among subscribers of like category or class. Nothing in the foregoing shall be deemed to prevent the grantee from establishing:
(1) Special temporary reduced rates for periodic promotional offers to attract new subscribers or for subscribers who pay promptly;
(2) Reasonable policies for deposits, penalties or denial of service where a particular subscriber has proven a bona fide credit problem; or
(3) Separate rates for commercial and noncommercial users of access channels .
(d) Advance Charges and Deposits. The grantee may require subscribers to pay for basic subscriber service one month in advance. The grantee may also require a reasonable security deposit for provision of the basic converter unit. Such deposit, in the absence of theft or avoidable damage to the converter, shall be refundable to the subscriber. Reasonable security deposit shall be required to cover incurred expenses during house moves. No other advance payment or deposit shall be required by the grantee for basic subscriber service except as provided in subsection (e)(2) hereof.
(Ord. 1980-88. Passed 4-15-80.)