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(A) The administration of this chapter or the franchise agreement imposes upon the town additional regulatory responsibility and expense, and in consideration of permission to use the rights-of-way of the town for the construction, operation, and maintenance of a cable system within the town, a grantee of any franchise hereunder shall pay to the town 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 town 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 town shall hold a public hearing prior to adopting any change in the franchise fee.
(B) Payments due grantor under this section shall be computed quarterly, for the preceding quarter. Each quarterly payment shall be due and payable no later than 30 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 grantee’s system in the town. 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 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 day’s 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 10% of the amount paid. Any additional amount due to the town as a result of the audit shall be paid within 60 days following written notice to the grantee by the town which notice shall include a copy of the audit report. Grantor’s right to audit and 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 of request of audit.
(D) In the event that any franchise payment or recomputed amount is not made on or before the dates specified herein, 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 town’s primary depository bank during the period that such unpaid amount is owed.
(Ord. 1497, passed 2-22-06)