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House | May 8, 2013 | Committee Room | Utilities

Full MP3 Audio File

the spectator section. make sure and met members. make sure you have a cell phones, and any other electronic devices put on you, your buzzer off they go off will take them from you. two morepages pages if you'll stand and wave your arm in your recognize Bill Adkins from Randolph County builds representative globetrotter by rivers and the Pat Hurley, Shelby Bailey or Shelby there she isin the back shall be as from orange county and sponsored by Representative in scope and Zach Johnson reside is not here today and Madison Henderson answer from Sampson County sponsored by represented Louis R Sergeant of our stage on the grandpa Mike Clampett, Joe Cook and Martha Gaddis andexamine the members are first building is HB six sixty four represented Hager, you have the floor. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you chairman is that this bill is an attempt to help out all areas of the state. specifically,and in the arbiters that were all from me, you have a you try to call me or had experience where you'd better call drop in attendance. my house and representative anger at your apologizes. we haveand this is a PCS was not noted on my agenda represent the Samsung motion. there will thought how real the PCS reports on favor say I my apologies represented out I was on roller and where they were a great unemployment of the government. what this bill does is try to try to get a way is a economical way to deploy cell phone service. broadband is meeting our broadband source infrastructure Smith& Wesson autonomous and is probably as initial Donna is very sparse at best. we end in Rutherford County have tried to seminary laptops is on of our school located his education and take them home. I have no wrong Manhattan mobile access, and so does the biggest. this is an effort to do some of those things in an and to homogenize and make uniform the cell tower. the co- location infrastructure across North Carolina and and then distribute fuel head, if you recognize the nail. she can quickly go through the visual and in what they can question sorry with student a desire on [SPEAKER CHANGES] about January two thousand twelve, the federal government has to middle-class tax sleep job grades nine and presented certain state and local government actions regarding wireless facilities and part of the cell is keeping for my guys jiggling local governments have some authority over the siting of wireless towers collocation equipment, water towers, etc.there's a bill passed sparsely three years. again, it was related to that. this makes modification to the statutes on local authority or still have authority over the regulation of wireless facilities Monday authority is basically on is exerted on divided among two different types of modifications for construction of new facilities and substantial modifications of existing facilities. there is a greater oversight on visit data modifications are defined in the bill for co- location and pillowcases when you put in a wireless facility on the existing infrastructure and eligible facility request the sort of a lower level than ever sites and that is part of the conformity with federal law and sent applications for co- location and eligible facility requests have to be entered certain number of days and have a fee not to exceed one thousand dollars, thinking it has by the local government, for there is applications section three of the bill amends for late state authority to lease land mitigation purposes and tries to make a more uniform ability for them to enter into leases and licenses for my hands and also allow the governor, with the approval of the Council state to adopt rules authorizing department administration to enter into leases, easements or licenses for vacation purposes without adhering to certain sort of on procedures that are required for a oasis of the view that [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ms. Gimenez likes it. his visit as the ability to try to make it more economic to disperse these pillowcases out of normal rural areas. it is weekend to push the call step, which is out in the passing very from county to Kathy Swanson counties have troubled the locations they have the sparse areas of mobile and of relevant infrastructure that your visitors. they represent Lukas,reckless banking message here and

...disclosure, I'd like to be recused from voting on this bill. [SPEAKER CHANGES] So noted. Representative Holloway? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chair. Representative Hager, you bring forth a lot of really good bills to this committee, and normally I would just come in here and vote for this and probably have no questions. But this morning I received an email from my county commissioners that had a lot of concern about this bill, particularly the part with the 500 dollar cap on consulting costs. And I was curious why we here at the state want to limit what counties can spend for consultants. And part of their argument is they don't have, necessarily, the resources to do some of this in house. And from my understanding, consultant fees are a lot more than 500 dollars, and they just got a lot of concern about that. And I was curious as to why would we do that in this bill? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hager? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you. Great question, Representative Holloway. In the P.C.S. it's moved up to a thousand dollars. If you look at it, it's twice as much. Part of what we see, and I've got an example here, when the tower's originally built, it goes through a structural analysis, as many of you may or may not know. I've got a structural analysis that is sealed by a professional engineer on the front here. When the co-location is done, that structural analysis by the tower company happens again. The structural analysis by the co-locating company happens again. Because I assure you that the insurance companies of these tower companies, and the tower companies themselves and the co-locator companies, don't want these to fall either. Now if we continue to push these limits, we've seen as many as five, six, seven, eight thousand dollars for these fees. And what happens is it makes it uneconomical to co-locate some of these. Now, this is only for co-location. This doesn't...the thousand dollar cap is not for the original design of the tower, not for the original tower. And if it's a substantial improvement in the tower, and that's identified in the bill, the thousand dollar cap is not for them. This is for what is called a less than substantial change in the tower. So it's looked at a couple times already. So you've got that already built into the system, and I actually have got a report here, be glad to show you, of what the tower company does themselves. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just one quick follow-up, Mr. Chair. So, Representative Hager, the thousand dollar lift in that cap, from 500 to 1000, do you think that will satisfy my county commissioners? I mean this isn't my training; I don't deal with this; this is more their concern. They just emailed me with concern and they're a good bunch there, too. And when they do that, always a red flag pops up. Is that going to ease their mind and is their an opinion from the commissioner's association or any of these groups? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I think there's a...we do have support of the... and I could be wrong, please stand up and tell me, but I thought we had the support of the League of Municipalities and the county folks also. So, I think we've got that; they've looked at it; they've bought into it. And we've actually modified some of this bill for some of these issues they had. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chair, the only other request I have is, if it's possible, maybe we could just here from them? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Holloway, the Chair has no objection to that, but let's exhaust the committee first, if you don't mind. Representative Samuelson? [SPEAKER CHANGES] I was actually going to move at the appropriate time, so I can wait. [SPEAKER CHANGES] We will note that and come back to you. Representative Dollar. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Just to...I guess really the bill's sponsors have already answered this, but it was my understanding as well that this is a consensus bill that everybody is on board with. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That is correct, Representative Dollar. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hager. [SPEAKER CHANGES] ?? could I see you for just a second. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Members, we have just a couple people who asked to speak, and the Chair's going to recognize Patrick Ballantine. Mr. Ballantine, if you'd please approach the microphone, address...identify yourself for the committee and the audience. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Patrick Ballantine. I have recently been retained by Monroe Telecom. They do business in North Carolina as the center for municipal solutions. And what they do is serve as a facilitator for the cell tower issues. They are hired by local counties and municipalities to help facilitate the permitting of these cell towers. My client's business model is to make sure these permits are allowed, that these cell towers and co-locations, et ceterea, do occur because that's how he makes his money. But this bill goes too far. We're concerned that what this bill would do would, in effect, take out any independent technical assistance needed by...[AUDIO ENDS]

In small and medium sized counties. We’re okay with cell towers, with adding to cell towers. But we just need to make sure that they comply with the applicable codes, building codes and other safety measures. This is a matter of public safety and protection of private property. And, and we believe that this $1,000.00 cap is still unreasonable when you look at something that’s maybe 30 years old that’s been added to several times that’s gonna get added to again. We’ve got at least a dozen, a dozen locations in North Carolina right now where the industry would want to add onto an existing tower where there’s a load of in excess of 100% of capacity. So this isn’t a hypothetical issue. It’s, it’s a real public safety issue. So we would urge you to remove that cap to allow local governments to consult with independent technical assistance so they can facilitate the permitting here. We’re not talking about aesthetics. We’re not talking about what color it is. I, I know there’re, there’re different communities that have different standards. We’re simply concerned about public safety and the protection of private property. And, and we believe that this bill would, would usurp the local governments authority to a hire an independent technical expert assistance. And it’s, it’s like that jenga game, I mean it’s basic physics. The more you add on to something, the less stable it becomes. And this is a matter of public safety. And I appreciate you time. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Valentine. Representative Hager did you want to respond? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yeah I do. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I would address, I would point everybody to on the PCS that my line numbers may have changed but it’s under local authority for, for all the substantial improvement and on the collocation. It, it says that except as expressly stated nothing in this part shall limit a city from regulating application to construct, modify, or maintain wireless support structures or construct, modify, maintain collocated wireless on a wireless structure, based on consideration of land use, public safety and zoning issues. So, so the cities and counties have a right to reject this based on safety issues already. Now we’ve got a consensus bill here and we have the folks that are making the dollars from this are the ones coming to you saying don’t approve this. I’ve got some, some calls here of we generally see in some of the counties that use consultants. You can go up as much as $9,600 in these consultants. And some jurisdictions that don’t use consultants are in the $100 to $500 range. This is kinda where we are guys. And you’d you’d be surprised the city, the ones don’t use consultants are normally the ones that you would think would be small counties, are big counties and some of them are small counties also. So with that again I would ask you for adoption of the bill. Mr. Chairman thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Luebke you had a request from the, for the chair. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, thank you Mr. Chairman. Last week some of my constituents were here and wanted to speak and I came in a bit late and don’t know if they were able be here. And I’m looking, trying to look back. Maybe they are not here. I appreciate your offering them time if they had been here. I do want to ask [SPEAKER CHANGES] Like to comment on the bill sir? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes, yes, yes sir. Thank you. First of all, Representative Hager, I kind of agree with Senator Valentine that I don’t really understand why this bill has to put the cap on what cities and counties can pay. I mean, why are we meddling kinda in that issue? [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chair. Thank you Mr. Luebke. What, what we see especially in, in, and you probably don’t see it in your, in your district and some of the bigger counties don’t see it in their district. But in a district like mine where it’s not really economical to put up another tower cuz you don’t have the absorption/g, you have the number of density of people. Every dollar you spend makes that more uneconomical. So what happens is the folks in the rural districts end up not having broadband, not having mobile services which keeps our children not having access to internet issues, not being able to use their computers as they have, not being able to research. Trying to keep the cost cap as low as we can provides more areas, it gives them more economics to provide more areas to serve. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Follow up. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Maybe I’m misunderstanding. I thought from reading the bill it was, this, this, this was the reference to $500 and now $1,000 as Representative Holloway said a moment ago had to do with the fee that you could pay to a consultant. I guess that strikes me given what lobbyists make around here $1,000 cap is pretty small, is a pretty stringent cap. So I just wondered why is that necessary to even be in the bill?

Something like that why shouldn't it be up to the decision of the counties to decide what it's worth to them to get council. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Representative Leubke I appreciate the question I think that I'm glad that we are not having a lobbyist decide where we put cell towers and collocations but the issue is that number that thousand dollars whether it's five hundred dollars or ninety six hundred dollars guess who has to pay that it's the person wanting to collocate that antenna, it's the person wanting to bring more broadband to a place where you might have five people per square mile not five hundred people or five thousand or fifty thousand per square mile so you just can't make the economics work so if you're having to pay ninety six hundred dollars you're probably not going to bring an antenna probably not going to do it if you're going to pay one thousand dollars that becomes, the economics become better because it all goes to the bottom line who's putting that antenna up that's who has to pay these issues and some of the contracts have been based on if you find something or you got something on a conditional you know we would want you to do this for a reason and we're paying so this limits a lot of this conditional consultants if you call it that and if you read the bill so it's based on economics Representative Luebke. Thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] May I speak on the bill? Mr Chairman. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Yes Sir. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you, thank you Representative Hager for the explanations my, the neighbors from the neighborhood groups in Durham were concerned I think because they felt that the bill allows essentially too much to be done to existing towers like adding on to existing towers that will have impact on them they already have a tower close to them that they are worried about additional and then that as they read the bill the city has limited opportunity or county has limited opportunity to challenge these changes and they are not happy to be as close to cell towers as they are in Durham, in urban Durham so it seems to me that the bill is I know you've referenced it as a consensus bill but they've raised pretty good points with me about how it really doesn't really protect enough of the citizens who are living close to these cell towers so I can hear by the motions that people have wanted to make that the votes are in on this bill but I think with Representative Holloway that there's a lot of concerns here and I've gotten concerns from individual county commissioners about it to so I would urge everyone to think twice about the bill but I know it's passing anyway, Thank You. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Hager, [SPEAKER CHANGES] Representative Luebke I appreciate your words as I always do but it does limit the jurisdiction of the seasoned counties still do have the safety issue in the bill. They can not have a they cannot pass an application until they are satisfied with the safety issue of the bill now they can negotiate of course with the cell tower with whoever is wanting to collocate but please remember this doesn't cover these rules of the thousand dollar limit only covers the not the substantial addition and it's outlined here not a new tower but just collocating the antenna that keeps it under the substantial modifications. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Representative Hager. Members we have three people yet to speak on this bill I just want to remind you we will take a vote on this bill shortly, Representative Blackwell. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairmans, I will try and be brief I want to say two things. First I hope the committee will support the bill, we very badly across the state and I think especially so in more rural areas need to get wireless available and high speed for economic development and for education purposes and this is a step in that direction because it would provide some clarity for the carriers that are trying to assist that by not running into needless obstacles. Secondly, I want to call the committees attention to a case that I think sort of illustrates why this maybe is appropriate. It may not suggest that we shouldn't revisit the fee at some point in the future if it proves insufficient to the need but in 2010 there was a decision made in the US district court for the southern district on New York when a wireless carrier brought suit against the city of Mt. Vernon and in that particular decision there were some interesting things that were said. One was that the ordinances pursuant to which consultants fees were shifted to the wireless carrier were held invalid and the court said in that instance that without a codified limit on fees that could be assessed this was in contrast to a charge of only five hundred dollars for other special use permits but in the case of this wireless carrier they imposed fees...

And $6012 thousand just NAR and, of an existing facility , and Mr. Cadiz rockets interesting to note that the court panel that there was an unreasonable delay encouraged by the consultants that they make unnecessary question applications and information that delayed the process for four months and that and they were required to consult of which require to disgorge the consultants say that they were saved because of lack of basic four now not suggesting all consultants fall into that category, I think it gives a suggestion that this limitation is for reasonable effort to try to ensure this plan 'Wallace around the state ever reasonable cost that doesn't end up getting so substantially to the calls the carriers are willing to make the expansion they can take your picture thank you for keeping your comments brief representing the offing , ages two and buy your own Engel really the only thing is that bill, which your lack the special EPA about problems in the rural areas of 811 that could be wrong to reach key issues in urban areas in (SPEAKER CHANGES) U.N. history with the use of more cell phone towers Salaam is to pull the ball players had been misled by a rigid option deal maker of this emerging are already has channel can thank you to be a deli impact of singers and what about the county's and the best products are comfortable with this in the polls again Arkansas and that is more than $1000 from the vehicles to play with their home to lead this will make sure their OKs are awaiting the week of your event today which chairman terry announced they had a big audiences from the icon teachers association or the county commissioners and site improvements is simply approached the microphone identify yourself for the committee will ask you to call list of more than 2 minutes place and they can stick an Israeli City association, commissioners and we have largely on the street and bill sponsor on this and also to make some changes in this point we have no objections to they'll think you make you very much for some sales of single interests are in prison for a question regarding promotion place PM. Five T. Meehan, they can have been something of a missed the Seattle center referral-anyone for segment called efforts and we'll only know I am sorry and rollison Wilson? (SPEAKER CHANGES) Only on all these Pleas of employer saw no problem of the chairman of kohlmeier with the U.N. withdrawal the best rallies , just let it go away, Mr. Eastin said I would working with 18 Sierra Wireless companies on the spill for a good month and I we've reached a point, fourth goal behind three questions but for representative from a medley of fame on the TV provides the committee said 54 hostile 664 round table can regionally, referral teeth and he said in a string regulate me a motion before you'll take replacing the publicity I would suppose saying no youngest and we're been one of two hospitals 710 and the person that they're used to love for sure this is also PCs will accept only a motion from Chris Gobrecht them? Alter selling making babies chairman is still bills without without water systems and sewer systems and ability to make a mockery of the infrastructure upgrades on the line and allows them how they would go back to the Chile commission after the upgrade is made two of two go for a rate increase is possible or a decrease in some cases or a rate increase modifications on the all utilities commission and about a proven or fruit without with occupation and Susan Beale bill Else under the utility the commission's discretion that was all secondary on improvements of debt or more of a quality of water maybe it doesn't meet the health of the detailed outline that the water is cloudy or taste on the lousy launder gazillion under the direction utility commission to make some of these also to be overwritten to call some of them out with a ??.......

Mr. chairman here’s the adoption. [Speaker Changes] Thank you very much. Members do you have any questions for the sponsor representative dollar you’re recognized/ [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. chairman. My read on the bill will actually will result in repairs and improvements being made sooner but I do have one quick question that I hope I know the answer to. From the public staff if there is a member of the pubic staff Mr. chairman I’d just like to post one quick question to them. [Speaker Changes] Okay we do have somebody here so. If you will please approach the microphone and identify yourself for the committee [Speaker Changes] Sure. Good afternoon, I’m Donna Downey I’m an attorney with the public staff. [Speaker Changes] Miss Downey my question is the provisions of this bill do you believe that consumers are adequately protected with the provisions of this legislation. [Speaker Changes] Yes representative we’ve worked with the bill sponsor and the advocates with this bill and we are satisfied with it. [Speaker Changes] Mr. chairman I would further offer a motion for favorable report for the proposed committee substitute for 7/10 does it have a referral anywhere? [Speaker Changes] It does to finance. But we’re going to take that motion and come back thank you sir. [Speaker Changes] And if you wouldn’t mind approaching the microphone again. [Speaker Changes] Donna Downey again. [Speaker Changes] Hi just to follow up to the question could you just specify or summarize what the consumer protections are in here and I said this just because this issue with the private water companies are very controversial around this state. [Speaker Changes] Sure What we perceive to be the consumer protections in this bill is that first off all this mechanism can only be implemented in the contact of a general rate case. And it gives the commission the digression to determine whether its appropriate another thing is there is a pin the amount of money that can be spent and recovered in between rate cases if its determined or if the company incurs more than that they need to come in for a rate case and so and then also the other thing we did was narrow the scope of the tax of improvements that can be recovered by this mechanism . [Speaker Changes] Thank you very much. Members seeing no other questions before the committee – recognize representative Dollar’s motion put before this favor we will report to the PCS on favorable to the original tot eh original with the referral to finance all in favor please say aye those opposed say no. the ayes have it representative Hager you are up again for the third time. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Chairman. This bill is a bill after speaking with NC state university and the representatives from the UNC charlotte folks. They came to me with an issue where they would love to the folks not in NC state because they can already preform these energy hours within their buildings on their campus but the rest of the UNC system could not. With the expertise we have that our epicenter UNC charlotte Engineering centers at A&T I don’t know if I said a whole lot about UNC but we’ll leave that alone. And the energy department sat and ?? east Carolina we thing they have the expertise within their departments to do these now they will function as project managers once they do these energy audits and identify areas where they’re having problems with a bowl where they’re causing heat. [Speaker Changes] Representative You’ve done so well in life I regret interrupting you but we need to have a motion to accept the PCS before us on this bill and thank you. [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. Chairman. I appreciate you doing this it will allow them to perform their self-audits determine where their efficiency issues are and coordinate the contracts with private industry to make these happen. Basically it keeps the dollars in house say they already have the expertise it keeps them from having to hire one of the three efficiently consultants in the state at a high dollar cost. [Speaker Changes] Does that conclude your presentation? [Speaker Changes] Sorry yes it does gladly will take any questions [Speaker Changes] Representative Harrison: [Speaker Changes] Thank you Mr. chair. Having worked on this issue over the past several years I think it’s a great deal and at the appropriate time I’d like

move for a favorable report. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Mr. Chairman, I'd like to make a notice that Representative Harris and I agree on a bill. Just thought that the earth should be, moon's aligned, the planets aligning, thank you. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Well I think the clerk already took that down. Seeing no other questions before the chair, chair recognizes Representative Harrison for a motion. [SPEAKER CHANGES] I move a favorable for the proposed committee substitute, unfavorable to the original. Is there a committee, another referral, or? [SPEAKER CHANGES] It should be [inaudible]. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Oh, it is? [inaudible] [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ok. With a recommendation of finance. [SPEAKER CHANGES] With that recommendation. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Ok, so we have the motion before us, all in favor please say aye. Those opposed say no. The ayes have it. [SPEAKER CHANGES] Thank you Mr. Chairman, wonderful job you know. [SPEAKER CHANGES] That exhaust's the agenda you know, ladies and gentleman the committee is adjourned.