Tricounty News

ELECTRIC FRANCHISE ORDINANCE NO. 635 CITY OF KIMBALL STEARNS COUNTY, MINNESOTA

AN ORDINANCE GRANTING TO NORTHERN STATES POWER COMPANY, A MINNESOTA CORPORATION, ITS SUCCESSORS AND ASSIGNS, PERMISSION TO CONSTRUCT, OPERATE, REPAIR AND MAINTAIN IN THE CITY OF KIMBALL, MINNESOTA, AN ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM AND TRANSMISSION LINES, INCLUDING NECESSARY POLES, LINES, FIXTURES AND APPURTENANCES, FOR THE FURNISHING OF ELECTRIC ENERGY TO THE CITY AND ITS INHABITANTS AND OTHERS AND TRANSMITTING ELECTRIC ENERGY INTO AND THROUGH THE CITY AND TO USE THE PUBLIC WAYS AND PUBLIC GROUNDS OF THE CITY FOR SUCH PURPOSES. THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF KIMBALL, STEARNS COUNTY, MINNESOTA, ORDAINS: SECTION 1. DEFINITIONS. For purposes of this Ordinance, the following capitalized terms listed in alphabetical order shall have the following meanings: City. The City of Kimball, County of Stearns, State of Minnesota. City Utility System. Facilities used for providing public utility service owned or operated by City or agency thereof, including sewer, storm sewer, water service, but excluding facilities for providing heating, lighting, or other forms of energy. Commission. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, or any successor agency or agencies, including an agency of the federal government, which preempts all or part of the authority to regulate electric retail rates now vested in the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. Company. Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation, d/b/a Xcel Energy, its successors and assigns, including all successors or assignees that own or operate any part or parts of the Electric Facilities subject to this franchise. Electric Facilities. Electric transmission and distribution towers, poles, lines, guys, anchors, conduits, fixtures, and necessary appurtenances owned or operated by Company for the purpose of providing electric energy for public use. Non-Betterment Costs. Costs incurred by Company from relocation, removal or rearrangement of Electric Facilities that do not result in an improvement to the Electric Facilities, taking into consideration salvage value of Facilities removed. Notice. A writing served by one party on the other party referencing one or more provisions of this Ordinance. Notice to Company shall be mailed to the General Counsel, Legal Services, Suite 3000, 800 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Notice to the City shall be mailed to the City Administrator, 1 Main St. N. Kimball, MN 55353-0238. Either party may change its respective address for the purpose of this Ordinance by written notice to the other party. Public Ground. Land owned or otherwise controlled by the City for park, open space or similar public purpose, which is held for use in common by the public. Public Way. Public right-of-way within the City as defined in Minn. Stat. § 237.163, subd. 3. SECTION 2. ADOPTION OF FRANCHISE. 2.1 Grant of Franchise. City hereby grants Company, for a period of twenty (20) years from the date this Ordinance is passed and approved by the City, the right to transmit and furnish electric energy for light, heat and power or similar electric energy purposes for public use within and through the limits of the City as its boundaries now exist or as they may be extended in the future. For these purposes, Company may construct, operate, repair and maintain Electric Facilities in, on, over, under and across the Public Ways and Public Grounds, subject to the provisions of this Ordinance. Company may do all reasonable things necessary or customary to accomplish these purposes, subject however, to such reasonable regulations as may be imposed by the City pursuant to ordinance and to the further provisions of this franchise agreement. 2.2 Effective Date; Written Acceptance. This franchise shall be in force and effect from and after the passage of this Ordinance and publication as required by law and its acceptance by Company. If Company does not file a written acceptance with the City within 90 days after the date the City Council adopts this Ordinance, or otherwise places the City on notice, before that time, that the Company does not accept all terms of this franchise, the City Council by resolution may revoke this Ordinance or seek its enforcement in a court of competent jurisdiction. 2.3 Service Rates and Area. The service to be provided and the rates to be charged by Company for electric service in City are subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission. The area within the City in which Company may provide electric service is subject to the provisions of Minnesota Statutes, Section 216B.40. 2.4 Publication Expense. The expense of any publication of this franchise Ordinance required by law shall be paid by company. 2.5 Dispute Resolution. If either party asserts that the other party is in default in the performance of any obligation hereunder, the complaining party shall notify the other party of the default and the desired remedy. The notification shall be written. Representatives of the parties must promptly meet and attempt in good faith to negotiate a resolution of the dispute. If the dispute is not resolved within 30 days of the date of written Notice, the parties may jointly select a mediator to facilitate further discussion. The parties will equally share the fees and expenses of this mediator. If a mediator is not used or if the parties are unable to resolve the dispute within 30 days after first meeting with the selected mediator, either party may commence an action in District Court to interpret and enforce this franchise or for such other relief as may be permitted by law or equity. 2.6 Continuation of Franchise. If the City and Company are unable to agree on the terms of a new franchise by the time this franchise expires, this franchise will remain in effect until a new franchise is agreed upon, or until 90 days after the City or Company serves written Notice to the other party of its intention to allow the franchise to expire, but in no event shall this franchise continue for more than one year after expiration of the 20-year term set forth in Section 2.1. SECTION 3. LOCATION, OTHER REGULATIONS. 3.1 Location of Facilities. Electric Facilities shall be located, constructed, and maintained so as not to interfere with the safety and convenience of ordinary travel along and over Public Ways and so as not to disrupt normal operation of any City Utility System or street lighting or traffic signal system of the City. Electric Facilities shall be located on Public Grounds as determined by the City. Company's construction, reconstruction, operation, repair, maintenance, location and relocation of Electric Facilities shall be subject to any permit requirements authorized in a separate ordinance and other reasonable regulations of the City, consistent with authority granted the City to manage its Public Ways and Public Grounds under state law, to the extent not inconsistent with a specific term of this franchise agreement. Company may abandon underground Electric Facilities in place, provided at City's request, Company at its own expense, removes abandoned metal conduits or concrete encased conduit or other Facilities interfering with a City improvement project, but only to the extent such conduit is uncovered as part of the City's improvement project. 3.2 Street Openings. Company shall not open or disturb the surface of any Public Way or Public Ground for any purpose without first having obtained a permit from the City, if required by a separate ordinance for which the City may impose a reasonable fee, subject to the provisions of Section 9. Permit conditions imposed on Company shall not be more burdensome than those imposed on other utilities for similar facilities or work. Company may, however, open and disturb the surface of any Public Way or Public Ground without a permit if (i) an emergency exists requiring the immediate repair of Electric Facilities and (ii) Company gives telephone, e-mail or similar notice to the City before, if reasonably possible, commencement of the emergency repair. Within two business days after commencing the repair, Company shall apply for any required permits and pay any required fees. 3.3 Restoration. After undertaking any work requiring the opening of any Public Way, Company shall restore the Public Way in accordance with Minnesota Rules, Part 7819.1100 and applicable City ordinances to the extent consistent with law. Company shall restore the Public Ground to as good a condition as formerly existed, and shall maintain the surface in good condition for six months thereafter, but shall have no obligation to water any grass or other vegetation thereon. All work shall be completed as promptly as weather permits and if Company shall not promptly perform and complete the work, remove all dirt, rubbish, equipment and material, and put the Public Ground in the said condition the City shall have, after demand to Company to cure and the passage of a reasonable period of time following the demand, but not to exceed five days, the right to make the restoration of the Public Ground at the expense of Company. Company shall pay to the City the cost of such work done for or performed by the City. This remedy shall be in addition to any other remedy available to the City for noncompliance with this Section. 3.4 Performance Security. City hereby waives any requirement, in the normal course of Company operations, for Company to post a construction performance bond, certificate of insurance, letter of credit or any other form of security or assurance that may be required under a separate existing or future ordinance of the City, of a person or entity obtaining the City's permission to install, replace or maintain facilities in a Public Way or the Public Ground. 3.5 Shared Use of Poles. Company shall make space available on its poles or towers for City fire, water utility, police or other City facilities whenever such use will not interfere with the use of such poles or towers by Company, by another electric utility, by a telephone utility, or by any cable television company or other form of communication company. In addition, the City shall pay for any added cost incurred by Company because of such use by City. 3.6 Avoid Damage to Electric Facilities. Nothing in this Ordinance relieves any person, including Company, from liability arising out of the failure to exercise reasonable care to avoid damaging Electric Facilities or other persons or property while performing any activity. 3.7 Notice of Improvements to Streets. The City must give Company reasonable written Notice of plans for improvements to Public Ways where the City has reason to believe that Electric Facilities may affect or be affected by the improvement. The Notice must contain: (i) the nature and character of the improvements, (ii) the Public Ways upon which the improvements are to be made, (iii) the extent of the improvements, (iv) the time when the City will start the work, and (v) if more than one Public Way is involved, the order in which the work is to proceed. The Notice must be given to Company a sufficient length of time, considering seasonal working conditions, in advance of the actual commencement of the work to permit Company to make any additions, alterations or repairs to its Electric Facilities Company deems necessary. 3.8 Mapping Information. Company must promptly provide mapping information for any of its underground Electric Facilities in accordance with Minnesota Rules Parts 7819.4000 and 7819.4100. SECTION 4. RELOCATIONS. 4.1 Relocation in Public Ways. Company shall comply with the requirements of any applicable ordinance of the City relating to relocation of Electric Facilities in Public Ways to the extent consistent with Minnesota Rules, Part 7819.3100 and applicable law. 4.2 Relocation in Public Grounds. The City may require Company at Company's expense to relocate or remove its Electric Facilities from Public Ground upon a finding by City that the Electric Facilities have become or will become a substantial impairment to the existing or proposed public use of the Public Ground. Such relocation shall comply with applicable city ordinances consistent with law. 4.3 Projects with Federal Funding. Relocation, removal, or rearrangement of any Electric Facilities made necessary because of the extension into or through City of a federally-aided highway project shall be governed by the provisions of Minnesota Statutes Section 161.46, as supplemented or amended. It is expressly understood that the right herein granted to Company is a valuable property right. City shall not order Company to remove or relocate its facilities without compensation when a Public Way is vacated, improved or re-aligned because of a renewal or a redevelopment plan which is financially subsidized in whole or in part by the Federal Government or any agency thereof, unless the reasonable Non betterment Costs of such relocation are paid to Company. The City is obligated to pay Company, however, only for those portions of its relocation costs for which City has received federal funding specifically allocated for relocation costs in the amount requested by the Company. 4.4 No Waiver. By entering this or any prior franchise agreement with the City, Company does not waive its rights under an easement or prescriptive right or State or County permit. SECTION 5. TREE TRIMMING. 5.1 Company may trim all trees and shrubs in the Public Ways and Public Grounds of City to the extent Company finds necessary to avoid interference with the proper construction, operation, repair and maintenance of any Electric Facilities installed hereunder, provided that Company shall save the City harmless from any liability arising therefrom. SECTION 6. INDEMNIFICATION. 6.1 Indemnity of City. Company shall indemnify and hold harmless the City from any and all liability on account of injury to persons or damage to property occasioned by the construction, maintenance, repair, inspection, the issuance of permits, or the operation of the Electric Facilities located in the Public Ways and Public Grounds. The City shall not be indemnified for losses or claims occasioned through its own negligence except for losses or claims arising out of or alleging the City's negligence as to the issuance of permits for, or inspection of, Company's plans or work. 6.2 Defense of City. In the event a suit is brought against the City under circumstances where this agreement to indemnify applies, Company at its sole cost and expense shall defend the City in such suit if written notice thereof is promptly given to Company within a period wherein Company is not prejudiced by lack of such notice. If Company is required to indemnify and defend, it will thereafter have control of such litigation, but Company may not settle such litigation without the consent of the City, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld. This section is not, as to third parties, a waiver of any defense or immunity otherwise available to the City and Company, in defending any action on behalf of the City, shall be entitled to assert in any action every defense or immunity that the City could assert in its own behalf. This franchise agreement shall not be interpreted to constitute a waiver by the City of any of its defenses of immunity or limitations on liability under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 466. SECTION 7. VACATION OF PUBLIC WAYS. The City shall give Company at least two weeks prior written notice of a proposed vacation of a Public Way. Except where re