House Bill 2294 History
H. B. 2294
(By Delegates Hrutkay, Butcher and Tucker)
[Introduced February 14, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new chapter, designated §24G-1-1, §24G-1-2,
§24G-1-3, §24G-1-4, §24G-1-5, §24G-1-6, §24G-1-7, §24G-1-8,
§24G-1-9 and §24G-1-10, all relating to expanding wireless
infrastructure within this State; legislative findings and
purpose; definitions; wireless infrastructure council created;
council powers and duties; long term leases of state-owned
property authorized for construction, placement and operation
of wireless infrastructure; exemption from Purchasing Division
requirements; lease requirements; revolving fund created;
deposits; fund use; and disbursements.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new chapter, designated §24G-1-1, §24G-1-2,
§24G-1-3, §24G-1-4, §24G-1-5, §24G-1-6, §24G-1-7, §24G-1-8, §24G-1-9 and §24G-1-10, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 24G. WIRELESS INFRASTRUCTURE ACT.
ARTICLE 24G. WIRELESS INFRASTRUCTURE COUNCIL.
§24G-1-1. Legislative findings; purpose.
The Legislature finds that there is a public and private
demand for increased wireless services within this State and a lack
of wireless infrastructure to meet the demand. One pressing public
need is to develop and implement wireless infrastructure that
supports homeland security, public safety and citizen activated
emergency response capabilities. Expanding the State's wireless
infrastructure also promotes economic development given that
company executives rank wireless services as one of the top
variables for choosing business locations. Wireless infrastructure
also increases the availability of commercial wireless services to
the citizens of this State. The rural and mountainous nature of
West Virginia presents technical and economic challenges to
wireless implementation. Accordingly, the State needs to implement
strategies to facilitate the construction, placement and operation
of wireless infrastructure.
The purposes of this article are to establish the wireless
infrastructure council to ensure that the proper wireless
infrastructure is in place; to authorize state agencies,
institutions and departments which hold real property owned by the
State to enter into long-term leases with eligible wireless entities for the construction, placement and operation of wireless
infrastructure; and to create a revolving loan fund to provide
financial assistance in underserved rural areas of this State.
For purposes of this article:
(1) "Council" means the wireless infrastructure council.
(2) "Eligible wireless entity" means a wireless carrier, a
telecommunications service provider and any other entity which
constructs, places or operates wireless infrastructure.
(3) "Long term" means a period of not less than fifteen years
nor more than twenty-five years.
(4) "Wireless" means wireless technology used to carry voice,
video, audio or data.
(5) "Wireless infrastructure" means
the infrastructure needed
to transmit voice, video, audio or data using wireless technology.
§24G-1-3. Council created; membership
(a) The wireless infrastructure council is hereby created.
(b) The standing council shall consist of seven members. The
council may create ad hoc working groups necessary to accomplish
the purposes of this article. A working group may include members
of the council and also individuals having expertise in wireless
technology, telecommunications and other relevant professions.
(c) Members of the council are:
(1) The chairperson of the Public Service Commission or his or her designee who will also serve as chairperson of the council;
(2) The Governor's chief technology officer or his or her
(3) The Governor's E911 coordinator or his or her designee;
(4) The Secretary of the Department of Military Affairs or his
or her designee;
(5) The Secretary of the Department of Transportation or his
or her designee; and
(6) Two wireless industry members experienced in wireless
public policy issues or wireless technology selected by the other
members of the council.
§24G-1-4. Powers and duties of council.
(a) The council shall prepare a report and present it to the
Joint Committee on Government and Finance at its January two
thousand six meeting which:
(1) Identifies state-owned real property and structures
available for and relevant to construction, placement and operation
of wireless infrastructure;
(2) Inventories existing wireless infrastructure, including
public and private structures and colocation sites;
(3) Surveys and assesses needed wireless infrastructure within
(4) Recommends uniform criteria for construction of wireless
infrastructure throughout the State and identifies the need for legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and
(5) Provides other information the council deems pertinent.
(b) The council shall establish all requirements of a long
term lease of state-owned property used for wireless infrastructure
and all requirements for the construction, placement and operation
of wireless infrastructure on leased state-owned property.
(c) The council may enter into collaborative efforts with
educational institutions and wireless businesses to achieve the
purposes of this article.
(d) The council may receive, administer and disburse funds to
support the purposes set forth in this article.
(e) The council may, subject to the availability of funds,
enter into loan agreements with eligible wireless entities for the
construction, placement and operation of wireless infrastructure.
(f) The council may make contracts and execute all instruments
necessary to carry out the purposes of this article.
(g) The council may propose rules for legislative approval in
accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter
twenty-nine-a of this code necessary to accomplish the purposes of
(h) The council may contract with private businesses for
services needed to implement the provisions of this article.
(i) The council may exercise additional powers necessary to
carry out the provisions of this article.
§24G-1-5. Long-term leases authorized; exemption from Purchasing
(a) Not withstanding any provision of this code to the
contrary, a state agency, institution or department, subject to the
provisions of this article, may grant a long-term lease to an
eligible entity of real property which the agency, institution or
department holds and in which title is vested in the State for the
construction, placement or operation of wireless infrastructure
(b) The provisions of article three, chapter five-a of this
code do not apply to the lease agreements executed under the
provisions of this article, except that the lease agreements shall
be approved as to form and conformity with applicable law by the
§24G-1-6. Lease requirements.
A lease granted pursuant to section five of this article is
subject to each of the following requirements:
(1) The wireless infrastructure facility must be designed to
accommodate multiple telecommunications applications;
(2) An eligible entity must agree to permit other service
providers to colocate telecommunications equipment on the wireless
infrastructure facility and agree to the terms and conditions of
(3) The eligible entity is required to indemnify the State from liability for damages arising from the construction, placement
and operation of the wireless infrastructure facility;
(4) No less than five percent of the wireless infrastructure
facility space and structural capacity must be reserved for use by
the State for telecommunications purposes;
(5) Construction of the wireless infrastructure facility must
be in compliance with all State and federal regulations and
permitting requirements; and
(6) All other requirements established by the council.
§24G-1-7. Fund created.
There is hereby created in the State Treasury the "wireless
infrastructure assistance fund" which shall be a continuing
revolving fund to be expended by the council in accordance with the
provisions of and for the purposes of this article. Nothing
contained herein may be construed to require any level of funding
by the Legislature.
§24G-1-8. Deposits created.
The council shall deposit all amounts received from the
long-term leases of state-owned real property and all amounts paid,
appropriated or granted to it, including interest accrued on loan
balances, fees charged and funds received in repayment of loans,
into the revolving loan fund.
§24G-1-9. Fund use.
The moneys in the revolving loan fund shall be used and reused only for the purposes set forth in this article including loans to
eligible wireless entities for construction, placement and
operation of wireless infrastructure facilities.
Loans may be made in amounts determined by the council. The
loan must be used to develop wireless infrastructure within this
Note: The purpose of this bill is to establish the wireless
infrastructure council to ensure that needed wireless
infrastructure is in place within this State. The bill authorizes
state agencies, institutions and departments which hold real
property owned by the State to enter into long term leases with
eligible wireless entities for the construction, placement and
operation of wireless infrastructure and creates a revolving loan
fund to provide financial assistance for the construction of
wireless infrastructure in underserved rural areas of this State.
This chapter is new; therefore, underscoring and
strike-throughs have been omitted.