Utility Accomodation Ordinance

AN ORDINANCE TO SET OUT A UTILITY ACCOMODATIONS POLICY; TO PROVIDE FOR APPROPRIATE FORMS AND PROCEDURES; TO CHARGE APPLICABLE FEES AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

WHEREAS, the county roads located within Oconee County are a significant asset of the citizens of Oconee County; and

WHEREAS, Georgia law charges the Board of Commissioners of Oconee County with the protection and preservation of the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the County and provides it with the power to implement and enforce powers or duties invested in the Board of Commissioners; and

WHEREAS, the Georgia Constitution provides that the County may exercise powers over and provide services for public transportation and state statutory law grants the power to the counties to regulate the installation of utilities in any county road and to ensure that same do not interfere with the use of the county road system; and

WHEREAS, growth in Northeast Georgia has increased the need for the use of county roads for utility purposes; and

WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of the County and its citizens to manage its roads to the fullest extent provided under state law, without creating barriers to entry;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Oconee County Board of Commissioners that the following ordinance shall be enacted

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Ordinance may be referred to as The Utility Accommodations Ordinance.

SECTION 2. ADOPTION OF STATE STANDARDS.

a) DOT Policy. The 2009 Georgia Department of Transportation Utility Accommodation Policy and Standards including all references contained therein to codes, rules, regulations, schedules, forms and appendix items, as may be amended from time to time, the "DOT Policy" is adopted by reference and incorporated in this Ordinance as if fully set forth herein, subject to all amendments and modifications contained in this Ordinance. A copy of the manual shall be maintained at the offices of the Oconee County Public Works Department and of the Clerk of the Board of Commissioners and shall be open for public inspection.

b) Definitions Applicable to the DOT Policy and this Ordinance. The DOT Policy is amended in order to equate state definitions and provisions with their appropriate equivalent County counterparts such that a policy shall be implemented to reflect the intent and effect of the State Right of Way Policy as it would logically apply to all Oconee County roads, including but not limited to the following:

1) Commissioner shall mean Director Oconee County Public Works Department.

2) Department shall mean Oconee County Public Works Department.

3) District Engineer shall mean the Director of the Oconee County Public Works Department or his designee.

4) Highway shall mean any road that is part of the Oconee County road system and shall include all of the right of way associated with such road. Where used in this ordinance, highway, county highway, county road and road shall be equivalent terms and shall include all right of way associated with any such road or highway.

5) State shall mean Oconee County

6) State Bridge and Structural Design Engineer shall mean the Director of the Oconee County Public Works Department or his designee.

7) State Highway (Chief) Engineer shall mean the Director of the Oconee County Public Works Department or his designee.

8) State Utilities Engineer shall mean the Director of the Oconee County Public Works Department or his designee.

9) Telephone booth shall include any booth or structure to be used by the public at large which houses a communications link for local and long distance communications, including but not limited to data communication ports, terminals, kiosks, structures or jacks for connection with local or long distance communications.

10) Utility (as defined in the state's policy) shall read: "Utility: all privately, publicly or cooperatively owned systems for producing, transmitting or distributing communication data, information, telecommunication, cable television, power, electricity, light, heat, gas, oil, crude products, water/sewer, steam, fire and police signals, traffic control devices and street lighting systems and housing or conduit for any of the foregoing, which directly or indirectly serve the public or any part thereof. The "utility" may also be used to refer to the owner, operator, provider, servicer, or any agent there, of any above-described utility or utility facility."

SECTION 3. ADMINISTRATION.

The Director of the Oconee County Public Works Department shall have the authority to administer the DOT Policy as adopted in this Ordinance on county roads and in unincorporated Oconee County and in accordance with any procedures and forms Oconee County Public Works Department may establish thereunder.

SECTION 4. FEES.

The Board of Commissioners shall be authorized to charge fees in accordance with the DOT Policy and any other applicable laws that exist now or may be enacted in the future. Fees shall be determined by the Director of the Public Works Department and shall be subject to the approval of and publicly disclosed by the Board of Commissioners. Any fee schedule shall be posted at the Public Works Department and shall be open for public inspection.

SECTION 5. UTILITY LOCATIONS IN ANY NEW RIGHT OF WAY.

All utilities locating their facilities in new residential and commercial developments shall locate their facilities pursuant to the Oconee County Unified Development Code as it exists at the time of such location. In the event that the Unified Development Code conflicts with the DOT Policy, the Unified Development Code will prevail, provided it is not more restrictive than the DOT Policy.

SECTION 6. PAVEMENT CUTS, UTILITY WORK; PERMISSION, RESTORATION, OBSTRUCTIONS.

a) Approval. Any utility, contractor, firm or individual shall obtain written approval of the Board of Commissioners through the Public Works Department prior to making any pavement cuts, curb cuts or any utility repairs or installations on a county road with reasonable allowances being made for emergencies. Utilities shall also comply with the policies and procedures set forth hereinabove. In the event of any emergency, the utility, contractor, firm or individual making such repair shall notify the Public Works Department of the need for an emergency repair in person, by telephone, or by any other method authorized by the Public Works Department for such purpose.

b) Repairs. After work approved under this section has been completed, the affected party shall promptly repair the pavement and any portion of any such county road that has been encroached upon. Repair work shall be completed in accordance with all of the work specifications on file with the Public Works Department and to the Department's reasonable satisfaction. Utilities shall also comply with the policies and procedures set forth here in above. Any repair not made within 7 days of the damage may, at the discretion of the Public Works Department, be performed by the County, with the costs of same plus an administrative fee of $1,000 to be charged to said affected party.

c) Obstructions. County roads shall be kept clear of any form of unnecessary obstruction. Written permission shall be obtained from the Public Works Department to place any type of structure or material on or in any county road.

SECTION 7. MISCELLANEOUS.

a) Severability. In the event any provision of this Ordinance is in conflict with any state or federal law or with any rule, regulation or order of any state or federal agency having jurisdiction over the subject matter of this Ordinance, it is hereby deemed to be the intention of the Board of Commissioners that the state or federal law, rule, regulation or order, as the case may be, shall prevail over any such provision, and the remaining portion of this Ordinance shall be deemed to be, and continue, in full force and effect.

b) Repealer. All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with the provisions of this Ordinance are hereby repealed.

c) Effective Date. This Ordinance shall become effective and shall be enforced from and after the date of its adoption, the public welfare demanding it.

Adopted and approved by the Board of Commissioners of Oconee County, Georgia, this _____ day of ____________________, 2009, after a first reading on the ____ day of __________________, 2009.

Attest:_______________________________

Gina Lindsey, County Clerk

(County Seal)

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Chairman

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Member

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Member

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Member

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Member