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ORDINANCE NO 2017-6.

AN ORDINANCE adopting a Uniform Franchise Fee, Franchise Fee Audits and Dispute Resolutions, for providers holding a state certificate under the Consumer Choice for Television Act, LA. R.S. 45:1361, et. seq.

WHEREAS, the Town of St. Francisville, Louisiana (“Town”) is empowered by Title 45 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes governing Public Utilities and Carriers to adopt an ordinance providing for franchise fees, franchise fee audits and mechanisms for dispute resolutions arising out of disputes between the Town and a holder of a State Certificate of Franchise Authority under La. R.S. 45: 1361, et. seq. (“holder of a franchise”);

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF ALDERMAN OF THE TOWN OF ST. FRANCISVILLE, at this regular session held on this 8th day of August, 2017, that this Ordinance shall provide the rules governing franchise fees, franchise fee audits and dispute resolutions by and between the Town and any provider holding a State Certificate of Franchise Authority providing services within the jurisdiction of the Town.

SECTION I
Definition of Terms

1.1 Terms. For the purpose of this Ordinance No. 2017-6, the terms defined in La. R.S. 45:1363 shall be adopted and incorporated herein as if reproduced verbatim.


SECTION II
Franchise Fees


2.1. The holder of a franchise is required to pay a franchise fee equal to five (5%) percent of such holder’s gross revenues received from the provision of cable service or video service to subscribers located within the Town and from advertising disseminated through cable service or video service and home shopping services as allocated under Subsection 2.4 of this Section. The fee shall be uniformly applied to all holders of a franchise within the Town. The Town shall provide a copy of the enabling ordinance to the holder of a franchise as a condition to receiving any franchise fee payments. As a condition precedent to a franchise holder’s obligation to pay a franchise fee established or changed pursuant to this Section, the Town shall provide each franchise holder with a copy of each rate change notification at least forty-five days in advance of the effective date of the rate change.

2.2 The holder of a franchise shall pay to the Town quarterly the aggregate amount of franchise fees payable under this Section. Each payment shall be made within forty-five days after the end of the preceding quarter for which payment is being made and shall be accompanied by a statement showing the franchise holder’s gross revenues attributable to the Town for that quarter.

2.3 Any supporting statements shall be confidential and exempt from disclosure as proprietary and trade secret information under any provision of state law.

2.4 The amount of a cable service provider’s or video service provider’s non-subscriber revenues from advertising disseminated through cable service or video service and home shopping services that is allocable to the Town is equal to the total amount of the cable service provider's or video service provider's revenue received from such advertising and home shopping services multiplied by the ratio of the number of subscribers in the Town on the preceding January first to the total number of subscribers receiving cable service or video service from the cable service provider or video service provider on that date.

SECTION III
Franchise Fee Audits and Dispute Resolution


3.1 The Town, upon reasonable written request, may review the business records of a cable service provider or video service provider to the extent necessary to ensure payment of the franchise fee in accordance with Section II herein.

3.2 Any suit with respect to a dispute arising out of or relating to the amount of the franchise fee due to the Town under Section II herein shall be filed by either the Town seeking to recover an additional amount alleged to be due, or by the franchise holder seeking a refund of an alleged overpayment, in a state or federal court of competent jurisdiction within three years following the end of the month to which the disputed amount relates; however, this time period may be extended by written agreement between the franchise holder and the local governmental subdivision.

3.3 Prior to filing suit, the Town or franchise holder shall give the other party written notice of any dispute not resolved in the normal course of business. Representatives of both parties, with authority to settle the dispute, shall meet within thirty calendar days after receipt of the notice, and thereafter as often as reasonably deemed necessary, to exchange relevant information and attempt to resolve the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved within sixty calendar days after receipt of the notice, either the Town or franchise holder may initiate nonbinding mediation. Good faith participation in and completion of the negotiation and mediation procedures set forth in this Subsection shall be a condition precedent to proceeding with the suit beyond its filing to interrupt the prescriptive period set forth in this Section.

3.4 The Town may contract with a third-party administrator for the collection of franchise fees and enforcement of the provisions of this Ordinance.

3.5 Each party shall bear its own costs and attorney fees incurred in connection with any and all of the activities and procedures set forth in this Section.

SECTION IV
Registration and Point of Contact


4.1 All holders of a certificate must register with the Town and maintain a current point of contact.


The motion to adopt this ordinance was made by Susie Tully and was seconded by James R. Leake.

The vote thereon was as follows:

YEAS:              1) James R. Leake
                         2) Abby T. Cochran
                         3) Gigi Robertson
                         4) Susie Tully
                         5) Bryan Kelley
NAYS: none

NOT VOTING: none

ABSENT: none


WHEREOF, the above and foregoing ordinance was declared duly adopted on this 8th day of August, 2017 at St. Francisville, West Feliciana, Parish, Louisiana.

____________________________________
HONORABLE WILL D'AQULLLA
MAYOR, TOWN OF ST. FRANCISVILLE






Shannon Sturgeon, TOWN CLERK