The Vermont Statutes Online
Title 19 : Highways
Chapter 001 : STATE HIGHWAY LAW; GENERAL TRANSPORTATION PROVISIONS(Cite as: 19 V.S.A. § 26a)
§ 26a. Determination of rent to be charged for leasing or licensing State-owned property under the Agency’s jurisdiction
(a) Except as otherwise provided by subsection (b) of this section, or as otherwise provided by law, leases or licenses negotiated by the Agency under 5 V.S.A. §§ 204 and 3405 and section 26 and subsection 1703(d) of this title ordinarily shall require the payment of fair market value rent, as determined by the prevailing area market prices for comparable space or property. However, the Agency may lease or license State-owned property under its jurisdiction for less than fair market value when the Agency determines that the proposed occupancy or use serves a public purpose or that there exist other relevant factors, such as a prior course of dealing between the parties, that justify setting rent at less than fair market value.
(b) Unless otherwise required by federal law, the Agency shall assess, collect, and deposit in the Transportation Fund a reasonable charge or payment with respect to leases or licenses for access to or use of State-owned rights-of-way by providers of broadband or wireless communications facilities or services. The Agency may waive such charge or payment in whole or in part if the provider offers to provide comparable value to the State so as to meet the public good as determined by the Agency and the Department of Public Service. For the purposes of this section, the term “comparable value to the State” shall be construed broadly to further the State’s interest in ubiquitous broadband and wireless service availability at reasonable cost. Any waiver of charges or payments for comparable value to the State granted by the Agency may not exceed five years. Thereafter, the Agency may extend any waiver granted for an additional period not to exceed five years if the Agency makes affirmative written findings demonstrating that the State has received and will continue to receive value that is comparable to the value to the provider of the waiver, or it may revise the terms of the waiver in order to do so.
(c) Nothing in this section shall authorize the Agency to impose a charge or payment for the use of a highway right-of-way that is not otherwise authorized or required by State or federal law.
(d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair any contractual rights existing on June 9, 2007. The State shall have no authority under this section to waive any sums due to a railroad. The State shall also not offer any grants or waivers of charges for any new broadband installations in segments of rail corridor where an operating railroad has installed or allowed installation of fiber optic facilities prior to June 9, 2007 unless the State offers equivalent terms and conditions to the owner or owners of existing fiber optic facilities. (Added 1997, No. 150 (Adj. Sess.), § 20; amended 2007, No. 79, § 10, eff. June 9, 2007; 2013, No. 12, § 17; 2015, No. 41, § 14; 2021, No. 20, § 85.)