2010 Tennessee Code
Title 6 - Cities And Towns
Chapter 33 - Powers and Offices Under Modified Manager-Council Charter
6-33-111 - Franchises.

6-33-111. Franchises.

(a)  No franchise or grant for the operation of a water, electric, telephone, steam, or public transportation or other utility that is not revocable at the will of the council shall be granted or become operative, except by ordinance. Such ordinance shall become effective thirty (30) days after its adoption by the council unless twenty percent (20%) of the qualified electors of the city sign a petition and present it to the council during such thirty-day period requesting that the ordinance be referred to the electors, in which case it must receive the approval of a majority of the electors voting thereon at a municipal election, and all renewals, extensions and amendments thereof shall be granted only in the same manner.

(b)  All public utility franchises granted under this charter shall be subject to the following rights of the city; provided that this enumeration is not to be construed as being exclusive or as impairing council authority to impose any condition that may be in the municipal interest and within the power of the city to impose or require:

     (1)  To revoke for misuse, or nonuse, or for failure to comply with the provisions thereof;

     (2)  To require proper and adequate provision, extension, and maintenance of plant and service at the highest practicable standard of performance;

     (3)  To establish reasonable standards of service and prevent unjust discrimination in service or rates;

     (4)  To require uninterrupted service to the public in accordance with the terms of the franchise throughout the entire period thereof; and

     (5)  To impose such other regulations as may be determined by the council to be necessary to the health, safety, welfare, and accommodation of the public.

(c)  The council may institute such actions or proceedings as may be necessary to enforce a franchise and may revoke, cancel, or annul all franchises that have become inoperative, illegal, or void and not binding upon the city. Subject to state law, all public utility franchises shall prescribe the manner of fixing rates, fares, and charges, and the readjustments thereof at reasonable intervals at the discretion of the city. The value of the property of the utility used as a basis for fixing such rates, fares, and charges shall in no event include a value predicated upon the franchise, good will, or prospective profits.

(d)  This section shall not be construed to repeal, abridge, modify or supersede any statute or law of the state pertaining to the Tennessee regulatory authority or the regulation of public utilities which are subject to its jurisdiction, and the provisions of subdivisions (b)(2), (3), and (4) shall not apply to any public utility over which the authority exercises regulatory authority.

[Acts 1957, ch. 238, § 6.35; T.C.A., § 6-3311; Acts 1995, ch. 305, § 72.]  

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