(a) As used in this section, the word "city" shall mean the City of Ozark in Dale County.
(b)(I) In addition to all other powers, rights, and authority heretofore granted by law, the city is authorized and empowered to acquire, purchase, lease, construct, operate, maintain, enlarge, extend, and improve as part of the system facilities for the provision to inhabitants of the city and surrounding territory of auxiliary services which may be identified generally as any communication service, not including cable television transmission, which shall include, but not be limited to, burglar alarm systems, data transmissions, facsimile service, home shopping service, and any allied or similar communication services.
(2) The city shall provide, without the requirement of any franchise, to any requesting communication company or utility regulated by the Public Service Commission, or any electric cooperative organized under Chapter 6, Title 37, or any subsequent statute of similar import, or to an affiliate of such communication company, utility, or electric cooperative, nondiscriminatory access to and use of any portion of the city communication service facilities not needed for municipal purposes or for the provision of communication service to others, on an unbundled basis at any technically feasible point, on rates, terms, and conditions that are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory, provided such electric cooperative or affiliate thereof makes available any of its communication service facilities not needed for its purposes to the city upon terms and conditions that are just, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory.
(c)(l) For the purpose of this section, the city may exercise the right of eminent domain. The eminent domain proceedings shall be conducted in the manner now provided by law.
(2) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the city may not acquire any other person's or entity's communication service facilities or system through the exercise of the power of eminent domain.
(d)(l) To provide funds for payment of the costs of the purchase, lease, construction, acquisition, extension, or maintenance of the system, the city may become indebted and issue securities in evidence thereof in the manner provided by law.
(2) The city, in order to secure the prompt and faithful payment of the principal and interest of all evidences of indebtness incurred or issued by it for the construction, acquisition, lease, extension, or maintenance of a system, may execute a mortgage or deed of trust upon any or all of the system and all property used in connection therewith, including the franchise or any part thereof.
(3) The mortgage or deed of trust may contain terms, conditions, covenants, and warranties for the protection of the city and holders of the bonds or securities issued by such city as may be determined and agreed upon by the governing body of the city and the persons, firms, or corporations owning such debts, bonds, or securities.
(4) The mortgages may provide that in the event of the foreclosure of the mortgage or deed of trust, the purchaser at foreclosure sale may acquire the right, privilege, and franchise of operating the system that may be so sold or conveyed, and the purchaser or his or her vendee may have the right, authority, and privilege to carry on and operate the system in the same manner, on the same terms, and to the same extent as the city is authorized to operate until the city may redeem the system from a mortgage sale.
(5) The mortgage or deed of trust may provide that during the ownership of the system by the city, its control of the service of the system shall not be diminished or interfered with by the grant of any other franchise for the operation of any other plant or system for similar purposes; and that rates and other charges shall be established and maintained sufficient to meet the costs of operation and maintenance; and that the city may pledge all of the receipts, earnings, and revenues from the operation of the system for the payment of the debts, bonds, or other evidences of indebtness secured by the mortgages or deed of trust.
(e) The city shall have all the power and authority necessary and proper to the exercise of the powers conferred on it by this section and in effectuating the purposes of this section.
(f) For the transaction of business pursuant to this section, the city shall be exempt from the jurisdiction and control of the Alabama Public Service Commission with respect to business.
(g) No action taken pursuant to this section shall create or authorize the incurring of a debt of the city within the meaning of any state constitutional provisions or statutory limitation on debts.
Last modified: May 3, 2021