The Vermont Statutes Online
The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
§ 1913. Communications plant; operation and regulation
(a) A municipality shall operate its communications plant in accordance with the applicable State and federal law and regulation, and chapter 53 of this title, relating to municipal indebtedness, with regard to the financing, improvements, expansion, and disposal of the municipal communications plant and its operations. However, the powers conferred by such provisions of law shall be supplemental to, construed in harmony with, and not in restriction of, the powers conferred in this chapter.
(b) A municipality’s operation of any communications plant shall be supported solely by the revenues derived from the operation of such communications plant, except that portion which is used for its own municipal purposes.
(c) A municipality may finance any capital improvement related to its operation of such communications plant for the benefit of the people of the municipality in accordance with the provisions of chapter 53 of this title, provided that revenue-backed bonds shall be paid from net revenues derived from the operation of the communications plant.
(d) Any restriction regarding the maximum outstanding debt that may be issued in the form of general obligation bonds shall not restrict the issuance of any bonds issued by a municipality and payable out of the net revenues from the operation of a public utility project under chapter 53, subchapter 2 of this title.
(e) To the extent that a municipality constructs communication infrastructure with the intent of providing communications services, whether wholesale or retail, the municipality shall ensure that any and all losses from these businesses, or in the event these businesses are abandoned or curtailed, any and all costs associated with the investment in communications infrastructure, are not borne by the municipality’s taxpayers.
(f) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, a municipality may enter into a public-private partnership for the purpose of exercising its authority under this subchapter regarding the provision of communications services. A municipality may contract with a private entity to operate and manage a communications plant owned by the municipality or may contract with a private entity to co-own, operate, or manage a communications plant. A communications plant that is the subject of a public-private partnership authorized by this subsection may be financed in whole or in part pursuant to this chapter and chapter 53, subchapter 2 of this title, provided the municipality first issues a request for proposals seeking an Internet service provider to serve or to assist with serving unserved and underserved locations targeted by the issuing municipality. The terms of such a partnership shall specify that the owner or owners of the communications plant, as applicable, shall be responsible for debt service. (Added 2007, No. 79, § 4, eff. June 9, 2007; amended 2019, No. 79, § 13, eff. June 20, 2019.)