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J) Chapters 110 through 113 – Franchises and Other Services

CHAPTER 110

NATURAL GAS FRANCHISE

110.01 Franchise Granted 110.05 Nonexclusive
110.02 Location of Equipment; Indemnity 110.06 Term
110.03 Excavations 110.07 Acceptance
110.04 Standard of Service  

110.01     FRANCHISE GRANTED. There is hereby granted to IES UTILITIES, INC.,  hereinafter referred to as the “Company,” its successors and assigns, the right, franchise, and privilege for the term of 25 years from and after the passage, adoption, approval, and acceptance of the ordinance codified in this chapter, to lay down, maintain and operate the necessary pipes, mains, and other conductors and appliances in, along and under the streets, avenues, alleys and public places in the City, as now or hereafter constituted, for the purpose of distributing, supplying, and selling gas to said City and the residents thereof and to persons and corporations beyond the limited thereof.  The term “gas” as used in this franchise shall be construed to mean natural gas only.

110.02     LOCATION OF EQUIPMENT; INDEMNITY. The mains and pipes of the Company must be so placed as not to interfere unnecessarily with water pipes, drains, sewers, and fire plugs which have been or may hereafter be placed in any street, alley, and public places in said City, or unnecessarily interfere with the proper use of the same, including ordinary drainage, or with the sewers, underground pipe, and other property of the City, and the Company, its successors and assigns shall hold the City free and harmless from all damages arising from the negligent acts or omissions of the Company in the laying down, operation and maintenance of said natural gas distribution system.

110.03     EXCAVATIONS.  In making any excavations in any street, alley, avenue, or public place, Company, its successors and assigns shall protect the site while work is in progress by guards, barriers or signals, shall not unnecessarily obstruct the use of the streets, shall back fill all openings, in such manner as to prevent settling or depressions in surface, and shall replace the surface, pavement, or sidewalk of such excavations with same materials, restoring the condition as nearly as practical and if defects are caused shall repair the same.

110.04     STANDARD OF SERVICE.  Said Company, its successors and assigns, shall throughout the term of the franchise distribute to all consumers gas of good quality and shall furnish uninterrupted service, except as interruptible service may be specifically contracted for with consumers; provided, however, that any prevention of service caused by fire, act of God, or unavoidable event or accident shall not be a breach of this condition if the Company resumes service as quickly as is reasonably practical after the happening of the act causing the interruption.

110.05     NONEXCLUSIVE.  The franchise granted by this chapter shall not be exclusive.

110.06     TERM.  The term of the franchise granted by this chapter and the rights granted hereunder shall continue for the period of 25 years from and after its acceptance by the said Company, as herein provided.

110.07     ACCEPTANCE. The franchise granted by this chapter shall be conditioned upon acceptance by the Company in writing.  The acceptance shall be filed with the City Clerk within 90 days from Company receiving a majority of the votes cast at the election hereinafter called.

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CHAPTER 111

ELECTRIC FRANCHISE

111.01 Franchise Granted 111.05 Nonexclusive
111.02 Location of Equipment; Indemnification 111.06 Continuous Service
111.03 Meters 111.07 Term
111.04 Quality of Service 111.08 Acceptance

111.01     FRANCHISE GRANTED. There is hereby granted to IES UTILITIES INC., hereinafter referred to as the “Company,” its successors and assigns, the right and franchise to acquire, construct, erect, maintain and operate in the City works and plants for the manufacture and generation of electricity and a distribution system for electric light, heat and power and the right to erect and maintain the necessary poles, lines, wires, conduits and other appliances for the transmission of electric current along, under and upon the streets, avenues, alleys and public places in the said City; also the right to erect and maintain upon the streets, avenues, alleys and public places, transmission lines through the City to supply individuals, corporations, communities, and municipalities both inside and outside of said City with electric light, heat, and power for the period of 25 years; and also includes the right of eminent domain as provided in Section 364.2 of the Code of Iowa.

111.02     LOCATION OF EQUIPMENT; INDEMNIFICATION.  The poles, wires and appliances shall be placed and maintained so as not to unnecessarily interfere with the travel on said streets, alleys, and public places in said City or unnecessarily interfere with the proper use of the same, including ordinary drainage, or with the sewers, underground pipe and other property of the City, and the said Company, its successors and assigns shall hold the City free and harmless from all damages arising from the negligent act or omissions of the Company in the erection or maintenance of said system.

111.03     METERS.  The Company, its successors and assigns shall furnish and install all meters at its own expense, and shall provide the service wire to buildings as set forth in the Company’s tariff filed with the Iowa Utilities Board.

111.04     QUALITY OF SERVICE.  The system authorized by this chapter shall be modern and up-to-date and shall be sufficient capacity to supply all reasonable demands of said City and its inhabitants thereof and shall be kept in a modern and up-to-date condition.

111.05     NONEXCLUSIVE.  The franchise granted by this chapter shall not be exclusive.

111.06     CONTINUOUS SERVICE.  Service to be rendered by the Company under the franchise shall be continuous unless prevented from doing so by fire, Acts of God, unavoidable accidents or casualties, or reasonable interruptions necessary to properly service the Company’s equipment, and in such event service shall be resumed as quickly as is reasonably possible.

111.07     TERM. The term of the franchise granted by this chapter and the rights granted hereunder shall continue for the period of 25 years from and after its acceptance by the said Company, as herein provided.

111.08     ACCEPTANCE.  The franchise granted by this chapter shall be conditioned upon acceptance by the Company in writing.  The acceptance shall be filed with the City Clerk within 90 days from Company receiving a majority of the votes cast at the election hereinafter called.

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CHAPTER 112

GAS APPLIANCE AND GAS PIPING REGULATIONS

112.01 Adoption by Reference 112.04 Penalty for Noncompliance
112.02 Enforcement 112.05 Compliance with Requirements for Incorporation
112.03 Authority to Enter Premises by Reference

112.01     ADOPTION BY REFERENCE.  There is hereby adopted by reference the American Standard Installation of Gas Appliances and Gas Piping, Fourth Edition, 1964, by the City, for the purpose of prescribing rules and regulations governing the design, fabrication, installation, tests and operation of appliances and piping systems for fuel gases, which reference work is hereinafter referred to as the American Standard, which American Standard was in turn adopted by the National Fire Protection Association (N.F.P.A. No 54 – 1964), endorsed by the American Standard Association, Inc. (A.S.A. Z21.30 – 1964), and approved by the American Gas Association, Inc. and the said American Standard is hereby adopted and incorporated by reference and shall have the same force and effect as if said American Standard had been fully set out at length herein and provisions thereof shall be controlling within the limits of the City.

112.02     ENFORCEMENT.  The gas franchisee as provided in Chapter 110 shall have the duty to enforce the provisions of the said American Standard, which is incorporated in this chapter, and to report all violations thereof to the proper authorities.

112.03     AUTHORITY TO ENTER PREMISES.  Said franchisee or its agents shall have the power and authority to enter without hindrance any building or premises whatsoever during reasonable hours of the day in order to inspect and investigate all gas appliances and gas piping systems prior to connection to any such piping or gas appliances to a source of gas as herein defined as a condition precedent to connection to any such gas service, provided further, however, that in making inspection of such gas systems after original connection as herein set out, said franchisee or its agents shall obtain permission to inspect same from the owners or occupants of the premises, or in lieu thereof, shall procure a search warrant from a magistrate before entering the premises.

112.04     PENALTY FOR NONCOMPLIANCE.  Any person, firm, partnership, public utility, or corporation engaged in the design, fabrication, installation, tests, or operation of appliance and piping systems for fuel gases, that shall fail to comply after the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter with the rules and regulations as established by this chapter and its incorporated sections thereof shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

112.05     COMPLIANCE WITH REQUIREMENTS FOR INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE.  In compliance with the statutes of the State of Iowa and resolution of the City Council, copies of said American Standard have been filed with the office of the Clerk; said ordinance has been adopted only after giving the notice required by the statute of the State of Iowa in respect to adopting a code by reference, to-wit, a notice to the public by publishing said notice for two consecutive weeks in The Belle Plaine Union that the City Council was proposing to adopt by reference said American Standard, which notice provided for a public hearing to be held on October 11, 1966, at the City Hall; that said public hearing was held on said date; that the City Council has adopted said American Standard as a construction, maintenance and operations code respecting buildings without amendment.

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CHAPTER 113

WIND ENERGY SYSTEMS

113.01 Purpose 113.03 Permits
113.02 Definitions 113.04 Zoning Districts and Rules

113.01     PURPOSE.  The purpose of this chapter is to establish rules for construction and operation of wind energy systems, in order to provide for health, welfare, and safety of the citizens of the City.

113.02     DEFINITIONS.  The following terms are defined for use in this chapter:

  1. “Commercial WES” means a facility that is intended to produce electricity specifically for sale to a utility or use off-site. Any WES that has capacity of 100kw or more will be considered a commercial WES.
  2. “Fall zone” means the area that is the farthest distance from the tower base in which a tower will collapse in the event of structural failure.
  3. “Guyed tower” means a tower that is supported by guy wires and ground anchors.
  4. “Kilowatt” is equal to 1,000 watts of electricity.
  5. “Lattice tower” means a self-supporting tower with three or four sides, with an open steel framed structure used to support equipment.
  6. “Monopole tower” means a tower consisting of a single pole, constructed without guy wires and ground anchors.
  7. “Noncommercial WES” means a facility that has a rated capacity of less than 100kw or less, which is intended to produce electricity primarily on-site for its own use. Excess power generated and not needed for on-site use may be used by the utility company.
  8. “Residential WES” means a facility that usually consists of a single wind turbine, tower, and associated control or conversion electronics, which has a rated capacity of not more than 10kw (kilowatts). It is intended to reduce on-site consumption of electricity.  Such a WES may also receive power from the local utility company.  Excess power generated may be used by the utility company.
  9. “Total system height” means the height above grade of system, including the base, tower, generating unit, and attached blades or rotors.
  10. “Watt” means the international system of units’ standard of power, equivalent of one joule per second.
  11. “Wind energy system” (WES) means an electrical generating facility comprised of one of more wind turbines and accessory facilities, including (but not limited to) power lines, transformers, substations, and meteorological towers that operate by converting the kinetic energy of wind into electrical energy.

113.03     PERMITS.  The construction of any WES within corporate limits of the City requires a building permit.  The application for a building permit shall be accompanied by evidence that the local utility company has received at least 20 days’ notice of the intended construction and use of a WES.  The permit shall also contain the local utility company’s consent to the connection of the WES to the power grid.  No permit shall be issued for a WES unless it meets all criteria in this chapter; any exception to this chapter will only be granted by resolution of the City Council.

113.04     ZONING DISTRICTS AND RULES.

  1. Residential Zoning Districts. Residential WES is authorized, provided that the owner-operator complies with the construction and use rules as stated below:
  2. Any residential WES that is constructed and used must be of type approved by the American Wind Energy Association and the U.S. Department of Energy.  Overall height of WES shall meet FAA approvals and this Code of Ordinances.  The Residential WES shall not be rated to produce or generate more than 10 kilowatts of electricity and have approval from the local utility prior to operation of the WES.
  3. Setback Rules. The area regulations contained in Chapter 165 of this Code of Ordinances regarding lot area, front yard, side yard, and rear yard shall apply to location of the WES.  The WES tower may be no closer to real property boundaries than that distance equal to the total system height of the WES (tower height plus the length of the blade).
  4. Tower Configuration. WES tower 50 feet or less in total system height with a monopole design shall be installed in a residential district.  Height of the WES tower is restricted by the fall-zone regulation.  A roof-mounted WES is allowed as long as they meet national and State building codes.  Towers with guyed wire are prohibited in the residential district.
  5. Base Design. WES monopole towers shall be mounted on a six-foot by six-foot pad of concrete, 48 inches deep (8.5 cubic yards of concrete) and to mounting rods at least three feet into concrete, with an eight-foot electrical grounding rod installed.
  6. Commercial Zoning Districts. Noncommercial WES is authorized in this zoning district provided that the owner-operator complies with the construction and use rules as stated below:
  7. Noncommercial WES is allowed in commercial zoning districts, if it is the type approved by the American Wind Energy Association and the U.S. Department of Energy.  Overall height of WES shall meet FFA approvals and this Code of Ordinances.  The noncommercial WES shall be rated to produce or generate less than 100 kilowatts of electricity, primarily to be used on-site of a business.
  8. Setback Rules. The area regulations contained in Chapter 165 of this Code of Ordinances regarding lot area, front yard, side yard, and rear yard shall apply to location of the noncommercial WES.
  9. Tower Configuration. WES towers 100 feet or less in total system height with a monopole tower design are allowed in a commercial zoning district.  Location of the WES shall be restricted to the fall-zone within the owner-operator parcel of land.
  10. Base Design. Base design is the same as for the residential WES.
  11. Industrial Zoning Districts. Commercial WES is authorized in this zoning district provided that the owner-operator complies with the construction and use rules as stated below:
  12. Any Commercial WES that is constructed and used must be of type approved by American Wind Energy Association and the U.S. Department of Energy.  Overall height of WES shall meet FFA approvals and this Code of Ordinances.  There is no restriction as to the amount of kilowatts of electricity the WES may produce.  The owner-operator’s main objectives are to produce and distribute electricity.
  13. Setback Rules. Only restriction is as to the fall-zone; if the WES topples over it must fall within the owner-operator parcel of land.
  14. Tower Configuration. Commercial WES tower shall be of monopole design with no restriction as to height other than the FFA.
  15. Base Design. This is to be determined by the WES manufacturer’s specification.
  16. Additional Construction and Use Information.
  17. Clearance of Blades. No portion of the WES rotor blades shall extend within 20 feet of the ground.  No blades shall extend over parking areas, driveways, or sidewalks.
  18. Fall-Zone Clearance. All WES structures shall be constructed as to allow for a fall-zone within the owner-operator’s parcel of real property and no dwelling structure shall be located within the fall zone of a WES tower.
  19. No WES shall be operated that emits any noise exceeding 65 decibels.
  20. Electrical Components. Construction and maintenance of the electrical components of the WES shall conform to the requirements of the National Electric Code.
  21. Color and Finish. All WES surface finishes shall be matt or non-reflective.
  22. Lighting intensity and frequency of strobe shall adhere to but not exceed requirements established by the FFA permits and regulations.  Red strobe light is preferred.
  23. One sign, no larger than four square feet, shall be installed to base of the tower.  The sign shall include a notice of no trespassing, a warning of high voltage, and a phone number of owner-operator in case of an emergency.
  24. To limit access to the tower, a six-foot non-climbable fence shall be erected around the base of the tower.
  25. All WESs shall be maintained in good, safe, and operational condition.
  26. The owner-operator of a WES shall maintain casualty and liability insurance at all times.
  27. When a WES ceases to be used at least 120 days in a calendar year, for any reason other than maintenance, it shall constitute a public nuisance.  In such an event the WES and its base shall be dismantled and removed from the real property site within six months from the last day that the WES was used or operational.

EDITOR’S NOTE: An Ordinance adopting a natural gas franchise for the City was passed and adopted on September 15, 1997.

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: An ordinance adopting an electric franchise for the City was passed and adopted, and voters approved the franchise at an election held on November 4, 1997.

 

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