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S.B. 130






Chief Sponsor: Kevin T. VanTassell

House Sponsor: Melvin R. Brown

             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill modifies a provision of the Utah Underground Conversion of Utilities Law.
             11      Highlighted Provisions:
             12          This bill:
             13          .    adds definitions for "point of delivery" and "service entrance equipment";
             14          .    modifies a utility's responsibility regarding the construction work to be done in the
             15      conversion of facilities from overhead to underground;
             16          .    modifies the notice that a county or municipality is required to give to property
             17      owners in an improvement district for the conversion of overhead facilities to
             18      underground;
             19          .    modifies provisions related to the conversion of overhead utility facilities to
             20      underground and an owner's responsibilities; and
             21          .    modifies a provision relating to the cost of converting facilities from overhead to
             22      underground.
             23      Monies Appropriated in this Bill:
             24          None
             25      Other Special Clauses:
             26          None
             27      Utah Code Sections Affected:

             28      AMENDS:
             29          54-8-3, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1969, Chapter 157
             30          54-8-25, as enacted by Laws of Utah 1969, Chapter 157
             31          54-8-26, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2006, Chapter 129
             33      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             34          Section 1. Section 54-8-3 is amended to read:
             35           54-8-3. Definitions.
             36          As used in this chapter [the following words and phrases and any variations thereof
             37      shall have the following meaning]:
             38          (1) "Assessment" [shall be construed to mean] means for the purpose of taxation
             39      wherever appropriate.
             40          (2) "Communication service" means the transmission of intelligence by electrical
             41      means, including[, but not limited to] telephone, telegraph, messenger-call, clock, police, fire
             42      alarm, and traffic control circuits or the transmission of standard television or radio signals.
             43          (3) "Convert" or "conversion" means the removal of all or any part of any existing
             44      overhead electric or communications facilities and the replacement thereof with underground
             45      electric or communication facilities constructed at the same or different locations.
             46          (4) (a) "Electric or communication facilities" means any works or improvements used
             47      or useful in providing electric or communication service, including[, but not limited to,] poles,
             48      supports, tunnels, manholes, vaults, conduits, pipes, wires, conductors, guys, stubs, platforms,
             49      crossarms, braces, transformers, insulators, cut-outs, switches, capacitors, meters,
             50      communication circuits, appliances, attachments and appurtenances.
             51          (b) "Electric facilities" [shall] does not include any facilities used or intended to be
             52      used for the transmission of electric energy at nominal voltages in excess of thirty-five
             53      thousand volts.
             54          (5) "Electric service" means the distribution of electricity by an electrical corporation
             55      for heat, cooling, light or power.
             56          (6) "Governing body" means the board of commissioners, city council, or board of
             57      trustees as may be appropriate depending on whether the improvement district is located in a
             58      county or within a city or town.

             59          (7) "Overhead electric or communication facilities" means electric or communication
             60      facilities located, in whole or in part, above the surface of the ground.
             61          (8) "Point of delivery" means:
             62          (a) a meter, for electric facilities; or
             63          (b) a network interface device, for communication facilities.
             64          (9) "Public utility" means any electric corporation or communications corporation that
             65      provides electric or communication service to the general public by means of electric or
             66      communication facilities.
             67          (10) "Resolution" [shall be construed to mean] means ordinance when the governing
             68      body properly acts by ordinance rather than by resolution.
             69          (11) "Service entrance equipment" means facilities on the property owner's side of the
             70      point of delivery that are necessary to accommodate service from a public utility.
             71          (12) "Underground electric or communication facilities" means electric or
             72      communication facilities located, in whole or in part, beneath the surface of the ground.
             73          Section 2. Section 54-8-25 is amended to read:
             74           54-8-25. Utilities responsible for work -- May subcontract -- Title to converted
             75      facilities retained.
             76          (1) The utility concerned:
             77          (a) shall be responsible for the accomplishment of all construction work to the point of
             78      delivery; and
             79          (b) may contract out [such] any part of the construction work as it [deems] considers
             80      desirable.
             81          (2) Title to the converted facilities shall be at all times solely and exclusively vested in
             82      the public utility corporations involved.
             83          (3) The public body, improvement district, or the public generally will not own the
             84      facilities at any time and the public is purchasing only the intangible benefits which come from
             85      converted facilities, that is the removal of the overhead facilities and replacement by
             86      underground facilities.
             87          Section 3. Section 54-8-26 is amended to read:
             88           54-8-26. Notice that service from underground facilities is available --
             89      Consequences of failure to convert overhead facilities.

             90          (1) (a) If service from the underground public utility is to be made available to all or
             91      part of an improvement district area, the governing body of the county or municipality that
             92      created the district shall mail a notice to each owner of real property served from existing
             93      overhead facilities stating that:
             94          [(i) service from the underground facilities is available; and]
             95          (i) conversion of all facilities owned within the improvement district by a public utility
             96      from overhead to underground to the point of delivery is proceeding;
             97          (ii) the property owner is responsible for the changes in the service entrance equipment
             98      located on the property to accommodate the conversion of the applicable public utility's
             99      facilities from overhead to underground at the point of delivery; and
             100          [(ii)] (iii) each owner shall [perform the necessary construction to convert the owner's
             101      existing overhead electric and communications to underground from the utility-provided
             102      service point to the service point on the owner's property] coordinate with the applicable public
             103      utility to make the conversion from overhead to underground service.
             104          (b) In addition to improvement district assessments, the property owner shall bear the
             105      expense of the conversion from overhead to underground described in Subsections (1)(a)(ii)
             106      and (iii).
             107          [(b)] (c) Each [owner that converts] conversion of overhead facilities to underground
             108      facilities shall comply with all applicable state and local laws, ordinances, rules, and
             109      regulations, and with all tariffs of the applicable public utility.
             110          (d) The public utility or its contractor shall perform the necessary construction to the
             111      point of delivery, unless the public utility authorizes another to perform the construction.
             112          (2) (a) Failure to [convert] have the [overhead facilities to] property owner's service
             113      entrance equipment described in Subsection (1)(a)(ii) converted to accommodate underground
             114      [facilities] service within [60 days after the date of mailing the notice] the time that the
             115      governing body specifies in writing shall be considered as [a] the property owner's consent to
             116      and grant of a construction easement to the county or municipality and as express authority to
             117      the county or municipality [and its officers, agents, and employees] to arrange for qualified
             118      persons to enter upon the lot or parcel for the purpose of making the [conversion] required
             119      changes.
             120          (b) A construction easement under Subsection (2)(a) terminates upon completion of the

             121      conversion of overhead facilities to underground.
             122          (3) If the county or municipality [converts the overhead facilities to underground
             123      facilities] arranges for the conversion of the service entrance equipment, all county, municipal,
             124      and public utility costs and expenses of the conversion, including the engineering, legal,
             125      advertising, and incidental expenses, shall be assessed against the property [benefitted] upon
             126      which the service entrance equipment was converted and become a lien upon the property
             127      served.
             128          [(4) The owner shall, at the owner's expense, make all necessary changes in the service
             129      entrance equipment to accept underground service.]

Legislative Review Note
    as of 10-25-07 11:49 AM

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

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