Section 11-49-1

Consent to use public streets, etc., for construction or operation of public utility or private enterprise; fees.

(a) No person, firm, association, or corporation shall be authorized to use the streets, avenues, alleys, and other public places of cities or towns for the construction or operation of any public utility or private enterprise without first obtaining the consent of the proper authorities of the city or town.

(b) No electric supplier, as defined in Section 37-14-31(1), which has an assigned service territory established by general law enacted by the Legislature and which is subject to payment of a privilege or license tax or other tax or fee established by general law enacted by the Legislature to a city or town which authorizes a levy not to exceed three percent of the gross receipts of the business done by the electric supplier in the municipality during the preceding year, and which authorizes a levy not to exceed one and one-half percent of the gross receipts of the business done by the electric supplier in the police jurisdiction of the municipality during the preceding year, shall be subject to any separate fee, charge, tax, or other payment to the city or town in connection with the consent required under subsection (a) or any consent required otherwise by law.

(c) Nothing herein shall affect any franchise fee, charge, tax, or other payment being currently paid by an electric supplier under a franchise agreement in effect on April 28, 2009, or any extension, assignment, or renewal at the same rate.

(d) The provisions of subsection (b) shall not be construed to affect the application of: (1) health, safety, and welfare rules and regulations to electric suppliers, including, without limitation, payment of reasonable permit fees designed to recover the costs of processing and administering permits generally applicable to all other businesses holding permits issued by the cities or towns; (2) payment of publication costs associated with approval of a franchise as required by statute; (3) any requirements stated in the franchise that the electric supplier repair and remediate property of the municipality damaged by the electric supplier's operation and maintenance of its facilities and that the electric supplier indemnify the municipality for negligence or wrongful conduct of the electric supplier, or the electric supplier's officers, agents, employees, or independent contractors, in the construction, operation, and maintenance of its facilities installed pursuant to the franchise; or (4) any tort, contract, or other civil liability that would exist independently of the franchise. The provisions of this subsection are intended to be examples of municipal powers that are unaffected by subsection (b) and shall not be construed as limitations on the rights and powers of municipalities.

(e) Nothing in subsections (b) to (d), inclusive, shall affect the right of cities or towns to charge electric suppliers, which have an assigned service territory, franchise fees for their use of the streets, avenues, alleys, and other public places of the cities or towns to provide services to the public such as cable, voice, data, video, or other non-electric services for which other providers are required to pay franchise fees.

(f) Should any of subsections (b), (c), (d), or (e) be declared unconstitutional or invalid by a final decision of any court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining subsections (b), (c), (d), and (e) shall become null and void and without effect. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to amend, modify, or otherwise affect in any manner Chapter 14 of Title 37.

(Code 1907, §3483; Code 1923, §7017; Code 1940, T. 10, §72; Act 2009-301, p. 523, §§1, 2.)