NEWTON, NJ—The Newton Town Council voted to renew Service Electric Cable TV's cable television franchise. At the town council meeting on Monday, ordinance 2020-3 was approved without much disucssion.
The Ordinance was introduced during the February 24 Town Council meeting and was opened to the public during the March 9 meeting for discussion. No public came forward and the council agreed to adopt the ordinance.
Ordinance 2020-3 is “an ordinance granting municipal consent to the issuance of a franchise to Service Electric Cable T.V. (SECTV) of New Jersey, INC. to construct, own, operate, extend and maintain a cable television system in the town of Newton, New Jersey, County of Sussex, setting forth conditions accompanying the grant of said municipal consent and providing for the regulation and use of said system and revision chapter A326, Cable television Franchise of the Town of Newton code”.
The council held a public meeting on December 9, 2019 in which SECTV attended and heard out the residents of Newton. After that meeting, the council directed the town attorney to prepare an ordinance, granting municipal consent to SECTV.
According to the Ordinance, the duration of the franchise shall expire 10 years from the date of expiration of the previous certificate of approval and issued by the Board of Public Utilities (BPU).
Some of the requirements within the ordinance include restoration of surfaces that might be disturbed due to any work done by SECTV, relocation of equipment, removal or trimming of trees that might come into contact with wires or cables/
SECTV is also required to give the municipality a bond for $25,000, provide public, educational and government (PEG) access channels, as well as give discounted services to the municipality which include:
- Three cable connections to the Newton Police Department
- Eight cable connections for the existing Newton Fire Department and buildings
- 24 classroom cable connections to Halsted Middle School
- 30 classroom cable connections to Merriam Avenue School
- Five cable connections to the Newton High School
- Two cable connections to Dennis Library
- Three cable connections for the Newton Town Hall
- Four cable connections for the Newton Department of Public Works
- Two cable connections for the Newton Water Department
- Two cable connections for the Newton Sewer Department
- Two Cable connections for the Newton Fire Museum
- Two Cable connections for the Newton First Aid Squad
Another requirement that the council members added into the new Ordinance included a public meeting. The Ordinance now states that “SECTV agrees that public meetings shall be held upon Town request, up to a maximum of one public meeting per year, to review the services provided by SECTV and any concerns raised by the Town and/or its residents. SECTV agreed to attend and participate in such public meetings.”
While the ordinance was introduced at the February meeting, it was not adopted until it was opened to the public during the March 9 meeting. After no public came forward, the council adopted it.