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BULLET St. Louis City Revised Code Chapter 23.42

St. Louis City Revised Code (annotated) has been converted to electronic format by the staff of the St. Louis Public Library. This electronic version has been done for the interest and convenience of the user. These are unofficial versions and should be used as unofficial copies.

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DIVISION III. POLES, WIRES AND CONDUITS

Chapter 23.42
Underground District

Sections:

23.42.010 District described.
23.42.020 Certain apparatus may remain overhead.
23.42.030 Penalty for placing wires above surface.
23.42.040 Wires shall be an obstruction--Exception.
23.42.050 Penalty for failure to put wires underground.
23.42.060 Removal of poles and fixtures.
23.42.070 Permit required.
23.42.080 Board of Public Service.
23.42.090 Excluded persons.
23.42.100 Bond.
23.42.110 Transmission of electricity for communication.
23.42.120 Penalty for no permit.
23.42.130 City purchase of conduits.
23.42.140 Conduit--Maintenance.
23.42.150 Conduit--Construction--Changes.
23.42.160 Street repair.
23.42.170 Common trench.
23.42.180 Time limit.
23.42.190 Applicability of Sections 23.42.010--23.42.230 to certain corporations.
23.42.200 Acceptance of Sections 23.42.010--23.42.230 required.
23.42.210 Termination of rights.
23.42.220 Prices for services.
23.42.230 Leasing or subletting conduit space.
23.42.240 Overhead wire removal--Required.
23.42.250 Overhead wire removal--Yearly amount.
23.42.260 Overhead wire removal--Board of public service orders.

This chapter was not codified in the 1960 code.

23.42.010 District described.

No wires, tubes or cables conducting or transmitting electricity shall be placed above the surface of any street, alley or public place in that district of the City bounded easterly by the Mississippi River, westerly by the west line of Twenty-second Street, northerly by the north line of Wash Street, southerly by the south line of Spruce Street and its prolongation to the west line of Twenty-second Street. Conductors above the surface may be placed inside of posts or brackets to connect lamps or signal boxes on streets with underground conductors, and such poles, wires, cables, tubes and other electrical conductors as may be necessary and convenient for local distribution may also be placed above surface; provided, that such poles may be erected in alleys only, and plans and specifications therefor shall be approved and a permit issued for such poles by the Board of Public Service.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 37.)

23.42.020 Certain apparatus may remain overhead.

All clocks, burglar alarm, commercial printer, nightwatch and other messenger callbox wires carrying currents of low tension and not fastened or attached to poles or other fixtures placed or set in the streets, alleys or public places within the district described in Section 23.42.010 shall be permitted to remain overhead, provided the following conditions are met:

A. Such wires shall be strung not less than thirty-five feet above the surface and securely fastened;

B. Each wire or cable shall be insulated throughout so as to meet with the approval of the Department of Public Utilities and tagged with a lead tag impossible of removal without destruction of the attached wire or fixture and marked plainly with the name of the owner;

C. No such wires shall be used to connect with immoral places or places existing unlawfully and shall not be used for any illegal purpose.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 38.)

23.42.030 Penalty for placing wires above surface.

Any person placing any wire, tube, cable, pole or other apparatus for conducting or transmitting electricity above the surface, along or across any street, alley or public place in the district described in Section 23.42.010 of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than ten dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, and each and every wire, tube or cable ever each and every street, alley or public place for each and every day shall constitute a separate offense.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 39.)

23.42.040 Wires shall be an obstruction--Exception.

All conductors, poles and other apparatus used for conducting or transmitting electricity along or across any street, alley or public place in the district described in Section 23.42.010 of this chapter, shall be deemed an obstruction to, and encroachment on the highways, except those used by street railways as now authorized by special ordinance.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 40.)

23.42.050 Penalty for failure to put wires underground.

Any person owning or using wires, tubes or cables for the purpose of conducting or transmitting electricity above the surface of and along or across any street, alley or public place within the district described in Section 23.42.010 who shall permit them to remain above the surface of such street, alley or public place after December 31, 1898, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than ten dollars nor more than one hundred dollars, and each and every wire over each and every street, alley or public place shall constitute a separate offense for each and every day that the wire, tube or cable is permitted to remain.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 41.)

23.42.060 Removal of poles and fixtures.

All poles and other fixtures shall be removed by the owner thereof within ninety days after their wires, tubes and cables shall have been, for any reason, removed therefrom.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 42.)

23.42.070 Permit required.

Any person who was authorized by the Charter prior to ninety days after the passage of Ordinance 8680 to operate wires, tubes or cables conducting, transmitting or employing electricity for public use and desiring to place these wires, tubes or cables under the surface of any of the streets, alleys or public places of the City is authorized after the expiration of ninety days from the approval of Ordinance 18680 to construct underground conduits and to place and operate wires, tubes and cables therein. Such person must first apply for, and receive from the Board of Public Service, a permit to construct conduits, ducts, manholes and other appurtenances as may be required for placing the wires, tubes or cables underground. This application shall be accompanied by full, general and detailed plans showing the route, capacity and dimensions of the conduits, ducts, manholes and other appurtenances.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 43.)

23.42.080 Board of Public Service.

The Board of Public Service is authorized and directed, upon receipt of any application made, as provided in Section 23.42.070, or upon its own motion, to designate a day, which shall not be more than ninety days after the approval of Ordinance 18680, on which it will consider the matter of constructing conduits, ducts, manholes and other appurtenances in the streets, alleys and places named in the application or in the order made of its own motion, and shall give fifteen days public notice by advertisement in the papers doing the City printing of the time, place and object of its meeting and of the streets, alleys and public places to be considered, and on such day all parties interested may appear and any person specified in Section 23.42.070 desiring to construct a conduit on any street, alley or public place shall present, with plans and details, a written statement of his requirements. After such hearing the board shall consider all of the applications, statements, plans and details presented and examine into the space available for conduits or ducts under such streets, alleys and public places and shall decide upon, prepare and approve plans, details, construction, conduits, ducts, manholes, materials and conditions as in its opinion the public interest seems to demand and shall include in the plans ducts, manholes and appurtenances as the city may require for the police and fire alarm telegraph and telephone system owned and operated by it, ducts, manholes and appurtenances to be constructed and maintained by the person receiving the permit and to be used by the city free of charge or cost of any kind. Where more than one application, statement or plan is presented to the board it shall have power to compel such applicants to build and maintain joint conduits and should the construction thereof involve a joint outlay and disagreement among such applicants the board shall have power to apportion such outlay.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 44.)

23.42.090 Excluded persons.

All persons who fail to appear on the day and at the time designated and submit an application as above required in this chapter or fail to accept in writing the apportionment of costs made by the board of public service or fail to deposit with the city treasurer the amount required by ordinance as a special fund to be used by the street commissioner in connection with trenches excavated in the public streets and alleys within ten days after notice from the board as to its findings shall be excluded from all privilege to obtain under Sections 23.42.010--23.42.230, both inclusive, of this chapter, conduit, duct or manhole facilities in the streets, alleys or public places named in the advertisement insofar as they are within the district described in Section 23.42.010. However, they shall not be excluded from such privilege in portions of streets, alleys and public places outside this district, or in streets, alleys and public places therein as are not included in the advertisement and no person shall hereafter obtain a permit for conduit privileges within such portion of the streets, alleys and public places named in the advertisement as are within the district. In regard to all streets, alleys or public places which have not been assigned, or which having been assigned are not occupied as herein provided, the board may proceed and all persons as are specified in Section 23.42.070 of this chapter may make application and may acquire rights at any time hereafter in the manner and subject to the obligations, duties and conditions provided in Ordinance 18680.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 45.)

23.42.100 Bond.

The board of public service is authorized and directed to grant permits to construct, alter or repair conduits, ducts, manholes and other appurtenances under the surface of any street, alley or public place of the city and to string therein wires, tubes and cables for conducting and transmitting electricity for the production of light, heat or power under the terms and in accordance with the provisions of Sections 23.42.010--23.42.100, all inclusive, of this chapter, to any person furnishing or using electricity for light, heat or power for public use upon compliance by him with the terms and conditions of Sections 23.42.120--23.42.230, all inclusive, of this chapter and all ordinances in force at such time; provided, that he file with the register a good and sufficient penal bond in the sum of ten thousand dollars conditioned that the conduits, ducts, manholes and other appurtenances shall be constructed in strict accordance with the plans approved by the board of public service; that from all suits for damages which may arise from their construction the city shall be held harmless; and that he and his successors or assigns shall comply faithfully with the terms and provisions of Sections 23.42.010--23.42.100, 23.42.120--23.42.260, 23.44.150--23.44.190, Chapter 23.46, all inclusive, of this chapter, and of all other ordinances and laws in force at such time concerning conduits, ducts, manholes and other appurtenances and underground wires, tubes and cables conducting and transmitting electricity for the production of light, heat or power. Such bonds shall be renewed from time to time, whenever the mayor may so order, as a condition precedent to the continued use of conduit privileges, and any refusal to renew a bond when so ordered shall constitute a forfeiture of all conduit rights.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 46.)

23.42.110 Transmission of electricity for communication.

The board of public service is authorized and directed to grant permits to construct, alter or repair conduits, ducts, manholes and other appurtenances under the surface of any street, alley or public place and to string therein wires, tubes and cables for conducting and transmitting electricity for communication under the terms and in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 23.52, Sections 23.42.010--23.42.090, 23.42.110--23.42.230, all inclusive, of this chapter, to any person furnishing or using electricity for communication for public use, upon compliance by him with the terms and conditions of Chapter 23.52, Sections 23.42.010--23.42.090, 23.42.110--23.42.230, all inclusive, of this chapter, and all other ordinances in force at such time; provided, that he file with the register a good and sufficient penal bond in the sum of ten thousand dollars conditioned that the conduits, ducts, manholes and other appurtenances shall be constructed in strict accordance with the plan approved by the board of public service; that from all suits for damages which may arise from their construction the city shall be held harmless; and that he and his successors or assigns shall comply faithfully with the terms and provisions of Chapter 23.52, Sections 23.42.010--23.42.090, 23.42.110--23.42.260, 23.44.150--23.44.190, Chapters 23.46 and 23.48, all inclusive, of this chapter, and of all ordinances and laws in force at such time concerning conduits, ducts, manholes and other appurtenances and underground wires, tubes and cables conducting and transmitting electricity for communications. Such bonds shall be renewed from time to time, whenever the mayor may so order, as a condition precedent to the continued use of conduit privileges, and any refusal to renew a bond when so ordered shall constitute a forfeiture of all conduit rights.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 47.)

23.42.120 Penalty for no permit.

Any person who shall string or cause to be strung any wire, tube or cable above or beneath the surface of any street, alley or public place without a permit or permission shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 48.)

23.42.130 City purchase of conduits.

The city reserves the right to purchase at any time after the expiration of fifteen years from September 8, 1896, all conduits or ducts duly constructed by any person under the following procedure.

Upon the passage of an ordinance authorizing the purchase of any or all conduits or ducts, the mayor, comptroller, president of the board of public service, or a majority of them, may at any time give thirty days' notice in writing to any owner or occupant of such conduit or duct of intention to purchase the whole or any part thereof at a valuation to be placed thereon by three arbitrators, one to be chosen by the mayor and to be named in such notice, one to be chosen by such owner or occupant and to be designated in writing to the mayor within ten days after the service of such notice, and one to be chosen, on the twentieth day after the service of such notice, by the two so chosen, or, in the event of their failure or refusal so to choose, to be appointed within five days after such failure or refusal by the presiding judge of the St. Louis circuit court.

The three arbitrators shall meet at the mayor's office on the thirty-first day after the service of such notice, and, after duly qualifying, shall proceed without unnecessary delay to ascertain and determine the value of the conduit or duct or part thereof described in such notice and they, or a majority of them, shall sign an award specifying such valuation. One copy of this award shall be filed with the register and one copy to be mailed to the owner or occupant of such conduit, duct or part thereof at his last known address in the city.

Each of the parties to such arbitration, immediately upon the making of the award, shall pay one-half of the arbitrator's fees, which shall not exceed fifty dollars a day for each arbitrator actually employed, and if not so paid, such amount may be sued for by such arbitrators, each for himself.

After the filing of such award the city shall, within ninety days, pay to such owner or occupant, or, if he refuse to receive this amount, into the circuit court to his use, the amount of such award and may thereupon take possession of such conduit, duct or part thereof, and shall become the owner thereof. All rights of the former owner or occupant thereto or therein shall immediately cease and desist.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 49.)

23.42.140 Conduit--Maintenance.

All conduits, ducts, manholes and other appurtenances shall be maintained by the owners thereof without cost to the city and to the satisfaction of the board of public service. Failing such maintenance, the board may order any work done which it may deem necessary for the proper maintenance at the cost of the owners. Failure by the owner to pay such cost shall, in the case of any owner furnishing or using electricity for light, heat or power for the use of the public, constitute a breach of the bond required by Section 23.42.100 of this chapter and shall, in the case of any owner furnishing or using electricity for communication for use of the public constitute a breach of the bond required by Section 23.42.110 of this chapter.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 50.)

23.42.150 Conduit--Construction--Changes.

The city through the board of public service, shall have the right at all times to inspect, superintend and control the construction of conduits, ducts, manholes and other appurtenances, constructed hereunder and, from time to time, to order any reasonable necessary changes to be made either in the construction, material or manner of maintaining the same or in the location in the street, alley or public place. All such changes or alterations shall be made by the owner without expense to the city. Should he fail to comply with any order so directing him within the time prescribed therein, the board may cause the changes or alterations to be made by the city, and the owner of the conduit, duct, manhole or other appurtenance so changed or altered shall, upon demand of the comptroller, pay the cost thereof. Failure to make such payment shall constitute a breach of the bond of such owner and a forfeiture of all rights and privileges granted.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 51.)

23.42.160 Street repair.

Whenever in the construction, alteration, repair or maintenance of any conduit, duct, manhole or other appurtenance, any portion of any street, alley or public place shall be torn up or disturbed by any person, it shall be his duty upon the completion of the work or on order of the street commissioner to restore immediately such street, alley or public place to its original condition without cost to the city. Any failure so to do shall entitle the street commissioner to make such restoration at the cost of the person owning or controlling such conduit and shall, in the case of any person furnishing or using electricity for light, heat or power for public use, constitute a breach of the bond required by Section 23.42.100 of this chapter and shall, in the case of any person furnishing or using electricity for communication for public use, constitute a breach of the bond required by Section 23.42.110 of this chapter
(1948 C. Ch. 50 52.)

23.42.170 Common trench.

Whenever the plans, as approved by the board of public service, require two or more applicants for conduits to use a common trench, space or conduit in any portion of any street, alley or public place all such applicants shall carry on the work of construction in such portion as nearly as practicable at the same time and as directed by the board, so as to disturb the street, alley or public place to the least degree possible. Any person, refusing or failing so to do shall be deemed to have waived any right to any conduit privilege in such portion.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 53.)

23.42.180 Time limit.

Any permit granted under the provisions of this chapter shall become void unless the work authorized by such permit is begun within sixty days after such permit is issued and is carried to completion continuously in good faith and within a reasonable time thereafter.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 54.)

23.42.190 Applicability of Sections 23.42.010--23.42.230 to certain corporations.

Sections 23.42.010--23.42.230, both inclusive, of this chapter, shall not apply to any corporation existing in the city on September 8, 1896, and authorized to maintain its wires, tubes and cables along and upon the public streets thereof under, and in pursuance of, any contract then existing between such corporation and the city for the lighting of the streets with electricity unless such corporation shall have, upon the approval of Ordinance 18680, filed with the register an acceptance thereof and a release and discharge of the city from its agreement and covenant in the contracts to pay any part of the cost or expense of placing wires, tubes and cables of such corporation underground and in conduits.

It is further provided that after January 1, 1900, such corporations shall not be released from payment of any gross receipts tax required by any ordinance, nor from compliance with all other terms and conditions of any other general ordinances pertaining to electric lighting corporations; but that, on the contrary, such corporations expressly agree after January 1, 1900, to be bound by all such ordinances now in force or hereafter adopted.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 55.)

23.42.200 Acceptance of Sections 23.42.010--23.42.230 required.

No permit shall be granted to any person to construct underground conduits under Sections 23.42.010--23.42.230, both inclusive, of this chapter until he files with the register an acceptance of all the terms, conditions and obligations of the above-mentioned sections.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 56.)

23.42.210 Termination of rights.

The rights, privileges and powers of any person conferred or authorized hereby shall cease and determine and become null and void on April 15, 1940.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 57.)

23.42.220 Prices for services.

Until April 15, 1940, the prices charged to customers for telephones, telephone service, electric light and power by person obtaining underground conduit privileges in the streets, alleys and public places within the city shall not, in any case, exceed the prices charged for a similar or corresponding use or service on January 1, 1896.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 58.)

23.42.230 Leasing or subletting conduit space.

No person or his successors or assigns constructing conduits under this chapter shall have the right or privilege to lease or sublet space therein or to use them otherwise than for his own needs; provided, that this section shall not apply to the acquisition of such space by the city as provided for in Section 23.42.130 of this chapter. Any violation of this section shall be deemed a misdemeanor, and shall cause a forfeiture of all rights and privileges granted under these sections.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 59.)

23.42.240 Overhead wire removal--Required.

All overhead wires, tubes and cables and the poles and supports outside the district described in Section 23.42.010 of this chapter shall be removed from above the surface of all streets and public places and provided for in this chapter.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 60.)

23.42.250 Overhead wire removal--Yearly amount.

All overhead wires, tubes and cables and the poles and supports on streets and public places ordered cleared, except conductors placed inside of posts or brackets to connect lamps, signal boxes or telephones lawfully erected with underground conductors on the streets, and except electric street railway equipment on trolley poles, shall be removed from four miles of streets and public places during each year.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 61.)

23.42.260 Overhead wire removal--Board of public service orders.

The board of public service, on or before June 1, 1918, shall order all overhead wires, tubes, cables, poles and supports removed during the next ensuing five calendar years from twenty designated miles of streets and public places. The board shall designate four miles thereof to be so cleared during each of such five calendar years, the year for clearing each such four miles to be prescribed; and, on or before June 1, 1918. Prior to making such order, the board shall hold a public hearing, first giving thirty days' notice by publication in the newspapers doing the city printing of the time of the hearing to determine from what streets and public places such wires, tubes and cables shall be removed during the ensuing fifth calendar year. The board shall give all persons whose wires, tubes and cables will be affected by the order opportunity to be heard at such hearing. In times of war or other emergency, and upon written application to this board, accompanied by an affidavit setting out the facts relied upon, and after a public hearing held upon thirty days' notice by publication in a newspaper doing the city printing of the time thereof, the board may modify such order and defer in whole or in part the work to be performed thereunder, if in its judgment, the enforcement of such order would be unreasonable or would work an undue hardship upon the party affected. Such work as may be thus temporarily deferred shall be completed, and at such rate and at such times, but within a period not longer than three times the period of deferment, as the board shall direct.
(1948 C. Ch. 50 62.)

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