The Vermont Statutes Online
§ 701. Declaration of policy
It shall be the policy of the State of Vermont to prevent unnecessary hazards in the operation of ski tows, lifts, and tramways, to ensure that reasonable design and construction are used, that accepted safety devices are provided for and that periodic inspections and adjustments are made, all for the purpose of making safe the operation of ski tows, ski lifts, and passenger tramways. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 1, eff. Aug. 1, 1961.)
§ 702. Definition of terms
The following terms shall be construed as follows:
(1) "A passenger tramway" is a device used to transport passengers uphill on skis, or in cars on tracks or suspended in the air, by the use of steel cables, chains, or belts or by ropes and usually supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans. The term passenger tramway shall include the following:
(A) "Two-car passenger tramway," a device used to transport passengers in two open or enclosed cars attached to, and suspended from, a moving wire rope, or attached to a moving wire rope and supported on a standing wire rope, or similar devices.
(B) "Multi-car passenger tramway," a device used to transport passengers in several open or enclosed cars attached to, and suspended from, a moving wire rope, or attached to a moving wire rope and supported on a standing wire rope, or similar devices.
(C) "Skimobile," a device in which a passenger car running on steel or wooden tracks is attached to and pulled by a steel cable, or similar devices.
(D) "Chair lift," a type of transportation on which passengers are carried on chairs suspended in the air and attached to a moving cable, chain, or link belt supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans, or similar devices. A chair lift may be a "fixed grip lift" or a "detachable grip lift."
(E) "Surface lift," a type of transportation which pulls skiers riding on skis by means of an attachment to a main overhead cable supported by trestles or towers with one or more spans. Surface lifts include so-called T bars, J bars, poma lifts, platter pulls, and similar type devices.
(F) "Rope tow," a type of transportation which pulls the skiers riding on skis as the skier grasps the rope manually, or similar devices.
(G) "Detachable grip lift," an aerial lift on which carriers alternately attach to and detach from a moving haul rope. The tramway system may be mono-cable or bi-cable.
(H) "Fixed grip lift," an aerial lift on which carriers remain attached to a haul rope. The tramway system may be either continuous or intermittent circulating and either mono-cable or bi-cable.
(I) "Base rate," a rate which is determined annually by the passenger tramway board and which rate when multiplied by the formulae in section 707 of this title will result in the "fee-due-State."
(2) "Industry" shall mean the activities of all those persons in the State who own or control the operation of passenger tramways.
(3) "Operator" is a person who owns or controls the operation of a passenger tramway. The word "operator" shall include the State or any political subdivision.
(4) "Board" shall mean the Passenger Tramway Board.
(5) "Department" shall mean the Department of Labor.
(6) "Lineal footage" is one-half of the total length of the cable or rope as determined when the tramway is installed. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 2, eff. Aug. 1, 1961; amended 1981, No. 36, §§ 1, 5; 1991, No. 206 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 2005, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 5, 2006.)
§ 703. Passenger Tramway Board
There is hereby created the Passenger Tramway Board within the Department of Labor which shall consist of the Commissioner of Labor, ex officio, who shall serve as chair, and four appointive members. The appointive members of said Board shall be appointed by the Governor. Two of the appointive members who are first appointed shall be designated to serve terms of two years and two of the appointive members shall be designated to serve terms of four years, but thereafter appointive members shall be appointed for terms of four years except that all vacancies shall be filled for the unexpired term. An appointive member shall hold office until his successor has been appointed and has qualified. Two appointive members shall be engaged in the industry and two shall be representatives of the public at large. Appointive members of the Board shall receive as compensation the sum of $15.00 per diem for their services and their necessary expenses when in the performance of their duties. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 3, eff. Aug. 1, 1961; amended 1963, No. 108, § 1, eff. May 28, 1963; 1963, No. 193, § 37, eff. June 28, 1963; 2005, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 5, 2006.)
§ 704. Rules
The Board may, in accordance with 3 V.S.A. chapter 25, adopt reasonable rules relating to public safety in the construction, operation, maintenance, and inspection of passenger tramways. The rules authorized hereunder shall conform as nearly as practicable to established standards, if any, and shall not be discriminatory in their application to operators of passenger tramways. Rules adopted by the Board shall in no way reduce or diminish the standard of care imposed upon passenger tramway operators under existing law. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 4, eff. Aug. 1, 1961; amended 1981, No. 36, § 2.)
§ 705. Enforcement, certificate
The Department shall enforce the rules adopted by the Board and inspect the construction, operation, and maintenance of passenger tramways to determine whether the rules adopted by the Board have been complied with by the operators. Certification of compliance by a qualified inspector who has been approved by the Department may be accepted by the Department instead of other inspection. In any legal proceedings, a certificate of compliance issued pursuant to this section shall be competent evidence only for the purpose of establishing the fact of issuance of said certificate and for no other purpose. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 5, eff. Aug. 1, 1961; amended 1963, No. 108, § 2, eff. May 28, 1963.)
§ 706. Operators to pay cost of inspection
The expenses of the Department in connection with making the inspections under section 705 of this title shall be paid in the first instance by the Department. In the event that contractors are used by the Department for specialized engineering consultation, such as structural, electrical, mechanical, or failure analysis, the cost shall be reimbursed to the Department by the affected area tramway operators. The reimbursement shall be credited to the special fund created under this chapter. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 6, eff. Aug. 1, 1961; amended 1981, No. 36, § 3; 2013, No. 191 (Adj. Sess.), § 8.)
§ 707. Registration and fees
(a) A passenger tramway shall not be operated in this State unless the operator thereof has been registered by the Department. On or before the first day of November in each year, every operator of a passenger tramway shall apply to the Department on forms prepared by it for registration hereunder. The application shall contain such information as the Department may require and shall be accompanied by a registration fee, according to the formula stated in this section, unless an alternate payment plan is approved by the Commissioner pursuant to subsection (f) of this section. The Department shall assess total registration fees in the sum of the amount approved in the appropriations process for the program for that fiscal year, adjusted by any balance in the Passenger Tramway Special Fund from the prior fiscal year.
(b) Each operator shall pay a proportionate share of the total registration fees as determined by the total lineal feet of each type of tramway operated as follows:
(1) the operator's total lineal footage of multi-car passenger tramways times the product of the base rate times 150 percent;
(2) the operator's total lineal footage of detachable grip chair lifts times the product of the base rate times 125 percent;
(3) the operator's total lineal footage of fixed grip chair lifts times the base rate;
(4) the operator's total lineal footage of surface lifts and rope tows times the product of the base rate times 50 percent;
(5) all tramways being registered for the first time shall pay a sum equal to five times the registration fee required to be paid for similar type tramways which have previously been registered;
(6) all major modifications of existing passenger tramways where the Department has determined that a 50 percent alteration or upgrade of structural, mechanical, or electrical systems has occurred or where the Department has determined that a full load test of the lift is required, shall pay a fee according to the following schedule:
(A) drive terminal, tension terminal, or mid-station terminal M-modification (50 percent or more) shall pay an equivalent annual registration fee times two;
(B) any two of the above M-modifications (50 percent or more) shall pay an equivalent annual registration fee times three;
(C) any three of the above M-modifications (50 percent or more) shall pay an equivalent annual registration fee times four;
(D) towers, structures, and foundation M-modification (50 percent or more) not including any of the M-modifications listed in subdivision (b)(6)(A) of this section shall pay an equivalent annual registration fee times two;
(E) any combination of the above in aggregate shall never exceed five times the registration fee required for first-time registration;
(7) any passenger tramway that operates for more than five days singly or in aggregate, between the periods of June 1 through October 30, shall pay an annual registration fee equal to that of a similar type tramway plus 25 percent.
(c) For purposes of computing the base rate, "lineal footage" means the total lineal footage of each type of tramway registered during the previous operating year.
(e)(1) All fees collected under this section shall be credited to a special fund for the Department to be expended for carrying out its duties under this chapter and may also be expended as provided pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection.
(2) The Passenger Tramway Board may expend amounts that it determines to be appropriate from the special fund established pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection for the purpose of contributing to ski lift mechanic education, job training, and apprenticeship programs.
(f) The Commissioner has discretion to authorize a tramway operator to enter a payment plan to pay some or all of the fee-due-State after November 1 upon a showing of financial need. The authorization and terms of any payment plan shall be in writing and set a date or dates for payment, provided that the total amount of the fee-due-State shall be paid no later than January 15. Failure to pay on November 1 or pursuant to an authorized plan may subject the operator to the penalties established in section 712 of this title. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 7, eff. Aug. 1, 1961; amended 1965, No. 183; 1969, No. 46; 1971, No. 227 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1-3, eff. April 5, 1972; 1975, No. 254 (Adj. Sess.), § 162(h); 1977, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. Feb. 7, 1978; 1981, No. 36, § 4; 1985, No. 26; 1985, No. 74, § 304; 1989, No. 210 (Adj. Sess.), § 288; 1991, No. 206 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3, 4; 1995, No. 186 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. May 22, 1996; 1999, No. 49, § 149; 2013, No. 101 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2015, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 63; 2019, No. 80, § 18.)
§ 708. Orders
If, after investigation, the Department finds that a violation of any of the rules exists, or that there is a condition in passenger tramway construction, operation, or maintenance endangering the safety of the public, it shall forthwith issue its written order setting forth its findings, the corrective action to be taken, and fixing a reasonable time for compliance therewith. The order shall be served upon the operator involved by registered mail and shall become final unless the operator applies to the Board for a hearing in the manner provided in section 709 of this title. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 8, eff. Aug. 1, 1961.)
§ 708a. Emergency orders
Whenever the condition is deemed to be imminently hazardous, involving the safety of passengers, the Department's representative shall be authorized to order the operator in writing to immediately suspend operation of the tramway, until such time as the hazardous condition has been remedied. (Added 1971, No. 227 (Adj. Sess.), § 4, eff. April 5, 1972.)
§ 709. Hearing
Any operator who is aggrieved by Department order may, within ten days after service thereof upon him or her, apply to the Board for a review of the order. The Board shall hold a hearing thereon at the earliest convenient day. At the hearing, the operator shall have a right to a full hearing, including the right to be heard personally and by counsel, to cross-examine witnesses, and to produce evidence in his or her own behalf. After the hearing, the Board shall report its findings, in writing, and make such order as the facts may require. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 9, eff. Aug. 1, 1961.)
§ 710. Appeal
Any operator who is aggrieved by any order of the Department following the hearing provided in section 709 of this title may, within 30 days after entry thereof, appeal to the Superior Court for the county in which the passenger tramway is located. An appeal shall not suspend the operation of the order made by the Board, but the Superior Court may suspend the order of the Board pending determination of the appeal whenever, in the opinion of the court, justice may require its suspension. The Superior Court shall hear the appeal and make such decree as justice may require. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 10, eff. Aug. 1, 1961; amended 1973, No. 193 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 9, 1974.)
§ 711. Suspension
If any operator fails to comply with a lawful order issued under sections 708 and 709 of this title, the Department may order the operator to cease operations for such time as it considers necessary for the protection of the safety of the public. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 11, eff. Aug. 1, 1961.)
§ 712. Penalties
(a) Operating without passing inspection. Any operator who operates a passenger tramway without first passing the annual inspection by the Department shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 for each day of operation.
(b) Operating without paying fee-due-State. Any operator who operates a passenger tramway without paying the fee-due-State as provided in section 707 of this title shall be fined not more than $50.00 for each day of operation.
(c) Operating after an order to cease. Any person who operates a passenger tramway after being ordered to cease operations shall be fined not more than $5,000.00 for each day of illegal operation. (Added 1961, No. 266, § 12, eff. Aug. 1, 1961; amended 2013, No. 101 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2015, No. 97 (Adj. Sess.), § 64.)