Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5422

Public Act No. 04-226

AN ACT CONCERNING TELECOMMUNICATIONS COVERAGE PLANS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) On or before October 1, 2004, and annually thereafter, the chief elected official of each municipality shall file, annually, with the Connecticut Siting Council, electronically or otherwise, a report containing the location, type and height of each existing telecommunications tower and each existing and proposed antenna subject to local jurisdiction.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) On or before January 1, 2006, the Connecticut Siting Council shall develop, maintain and update quarterly a state-wide telecommunications coverage data base that includes the location, type and height of all telecommunications towers and antennas in the state, as well as those towers specified in subdivision (6) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i of the general statutes, as amended. Such data base shall be available for inspection by the public in hard copy and shall be accessible electronically by means of the Internet or other media systems available to the public. Upon request of a municipality, the council shall supply any information contained in the data base to the municipality in preparing a plan under section 3 of this act.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective from passage) On or after January 1, 2007, each municipality may develop a municipal telecommunications coverage plan. Such plan shall consider the information provided to the municipality pursuant to subsection (a) of section 4 of this act, and may include the mapping of all existing telecommunications towers and antennas, radio frequency propagation modeling of existing coverage, hypothetical coverage from alternative sites and identification of sensitive areas for restrictive use. The plan may delineate one or more areas of the municipality within which applications for the siting of telecommunications towers that meet pre-established criteria may receive expedited consideration. Such plan shall be consistent with (1) 47 USC 332(c)(7), as amended, and any regulations adopted pursuant to said 47 USC 332(c)(7), (2) the Code of Federal Regulations Title 47, Part 22, as amended, (3) tower sharing provisions of section 16-50aa of the general statutes, and (4) the state-wide telecommunications coverage plan adopted by the Connecticut Siting Council pursuant to subsection (a) of section 4 of this act. At the request of a municipality, the Connecticut Siting Council shall provide technical assistance to the municipality in preparing a plan under this subsection.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) On or before September 1, 2006, the Connecticut Siting Council shall develop a plan for state-wide telecommunications coverage and annually shall review and revise such plan as necessary. The plan shall be consistent with the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, as amended, with sections 16-247a to 16-247s, inclusive, of the general statutes and with the tower sharing provisions of section 16-50aa of the general statutes. The plan shall contain information on population growth in the state and an analysis of existing and projected demands for telecommunications coverage. On or before November 1, 2006, the Connecticut Siting Council shall supply all information contained in such plan that concerns any municipality and any abutting or adjoining municipalities, to a municipality upon request under section 8-2 of the general statutes or any special act regulating the siting of telecommunications towers.

(b) On and after April 1, 2005, each provider of telecommunications services shall file with the Connecticut Siting Council, on a form prescribed by the council, on the non-tower locations of antenna array serving cellular and PCS telephone operations in the state. Such information shall be used solely to prepare the plan required under subsection (a) of this section and disclosure of such information shall not be subject to the Freedom of Information Act, as defined in section 1-200 of the general statutes.

Sec. 5. Section 16-50v of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) All expenses of administering this chapter and sections 2 and 4 of this act, including the functions of the council and its staff, shall be financed as provided in this section.

(b) (1) Before December thirty-first of each year, the council shall review the anticipated amount of expenses attributable to energy facilities for the next fiscal year, excluding expenses under subsection (c), (d), (e), (g) or (h) of this section at a public meeting, notice of which shall be given to each person subject to assessment under this subsection, and at which interested persons shall be heard. After the meeting, the council shall determine the anticipated amount of such expenses and submit its determination to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of appropriations and the budgets of state agencies. After the committee completes its review, the council shall apportion and assess the anticipated amount of expenses among those persons having gross revenue from the sale of electric power at retail in the state in excess of one hundred thousand dollars during the preceding calendar year, in the proportion which the gross revenue of each such person bears to the aggregate gross revenues of all such persons. Each such person shall pay the assessment in three equal installments on or before July thirty-first, October thirty-first, and January thirty-first of the fiscal year. During the fiscal year the council may further apportion and assess the additional amount of such expenses as could not reasonably have been anticipated prior to the fiscal year, apportioned in the same manner after notice and hearing in the same manner. The total of such assessments for any fiscal year shall not exceed one million dollars. No proceeds from any assessment under this subsection may be used by the council after June 30, 1984, for any proceedings concerning hazardous waste facilities.

(2) As used in this subdivision, "communications services" means services involving transmitting or receiving signals in the electromagnetic spectrum for a public or commercial purpose pursuant to a Federal Communications Commission license. Before December thirty-first of each year, the council shall review the anticipated amount of administrative expenses attributable to facilities used for providing communications services for the next fiscal year, excluding expenses under subsection (c), (d), (e), (g) or (h) of this section, at a public meeting, notice of which shall be given to each person subject to assessment under this subsection, and at which interested persons shall be heard. After the meeting, the council shall determine the anticipated amount of such expenses and submit its determination to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to appropriations and the budgets of state agencies. The council shall apportion and assess the anticipated amount of expenses equitably in proportion to the frequency of appearance, the degree of regulation required and the percentage of the council's workload, among those persons which provide communications services and have come before the council in the preceding calendar year. Each such person shall pay the assessment and submit a return, on a form prescribed by the council, to the council in four equal installments, on or before July 1, 1994, and July thirty-first of each year thereafter, October 31, 1994, and October thirty-first of each year thereafter, January 31, 1995, and January thirty-first of each year thereafter, and April 30, 1995, and April thirtieth of each year thereafter. The council shall transfer all payments received pursuant to this section to the Treasurer who shall credit such payments to the Siting Council Fund. Such payments shall be considered administrative expenses recovered from communications services providers.

(c) The fee for each application for a certificate for a facility described in subdivisions (1) to (4), inclusive, of subsection (a) of section 16-50i, as amended, shall be used to meet the expenses of the council in connection with the review of, hearing on and decision on the application, including the expenses of any consultant employed by the council under subsection (d) of section 16-50n. The council shall, by regulation, adjust the fees to meet the expenses. In addition, the council may assess the applicant during the proceeding on the application and thereafter, as may be necessary to meet the expenses. The amount of any fees and assessments paid under this subsection which are in excess of the expenses of the council in reviewing and acting upon the application for which the fees and assessments were paid shall be refunded within sixty days after completion of the matter.

(d) The fee for each application for a certificate for a facility described in subdivisions (5) and (6) of subsection (a) of section 16-50i, as amended, or for a determination regarding shared use of a facility used for providing communications services, as defined in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of this section, shall be established by regulation and used for the administrative expenses of the council and its staff incurred in processing the application or determination. In the event a hearing is held on any such application or determination, the council may assess an applicant during the proceeding and thereafter for all expenses of the council in connection with the review of, hearing on and decision on such application or determination, including the expenses of any consultant employed by the council pursuant to subsection (d) of section 16-50n.

(e) With regard to any facility described in subsection (a) of section 16-50i, as amended, the council shall, by regulation, establish such filing fees and provide for such assessments as may be necessary to meet the expenses of the council and its staff in reviewing and acting upon each application for an amendment of a certificate, each statement of intent to acquire property prior to the issuance of a certificate, each petition for an advisory ruling, each notice of modification and each appeal pursuant to subsection (d) of section 16-50x. The amount of any fees and assessments paid under this subsection which are in excess of the expenses of the council in reviewing and acting upon the application, statement of intent, petition for an advisory ruling, notice of modification or appeal for which the fees and assessments were paid shall be refunded within sixty days after completion of the matter.

(f) The council shall obtain such full-time and part-time staff and consultants as may be appropriate to carry out its duties and the provisions of this chapter and sections 2 and 4 of this act.

(g) The council may undertake such studies as it deems necessary to carry out its duties under subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 16-50t. The council shall apportion and assess its expenses for consultants, hearing facilities and stenographic reports and other reasonable and necessary expenses to carry out its duties under subsection (a) of section 16-50t among those persons having gross revenue from the sale of electric power at retail in excess of one hundred thousand dollars during the preceding calendar year, in the proportion which the gross revenue of each such person bears to the aggregate gross revenues of all such persons. Each such person shall pay the assessment within thirty days. Before incurring expenses for which assessments will be made under this subsection, the council shall review the anticipated expenses at a public meeting, notice of which shall be given to each person subject to the assessment, and at which interested persons shall be heard.

(h) With regard to any facility described in subsection (a) of section 16-50i, as amended, the council shall, by regulation, establish such fees and assessments as are necessary to meet the expenses of the council and its staff in conducting field inspections of (1) a certified project constructed pursuant to a development and management plan, or (2) a completed project for which a declaratory or advisory ruling has been issued.

Approved on June 8, 2004