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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 22, 2011 at 2:30 P.M. CST
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

NOTE:  If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 9:00 a.m. CST on Tuesday, February 22, 2011. Lines are limited and are given out on a first come, first served basis, subject to possible reassignment to accommodate persons who must appear in a proceeding. Ultimately, if you wish to participate in the Commission Meeting and a line is not available, you may have to appear in person.   

NOTE:  To listen to the Commission Meeting live please go to the PUC's Web site www.puc.sd.gov and click on the LIVE link on the home page. The Commission requests persons who will only be listening to proceedings and not actively appearing in a case listen via the web cast to free phone lines for those who have to appear.  The Commission meetings are archived on the PUC's Web site under the Commission Actions tab, Click on "Commission Meeting Archives," to access the recordings.

NOTE:  Notice is further given to persons with disabilities that this Commission meeting is being held in a physically accessible place. If you have special needs, please notify the Commission and we will make all necessary arrangements.

AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING

Administration

 1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on January 18, 2011, and February 1, 2011. (Staff: Seanna Regynski) 

Consumer Reports 

1.     Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg) 

Electric 

1.     EL10-015     In the Matter of the Petition of Otter Tail Power Company to Establish a Transmission Cost Recovery Tariff (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Bob Knadle, Dave Jacobson, Brittany Mehlhaff, Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorneys: Kara Semmler, Ryan Soye)

On November 5, 2010, the Commission received a petition from Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail) requesting approval to establish a Transmission Cost Recovery Tariff. The tariff mechanism provides for the automatic adjustment of charges to recover the jurisdictional costs of new or modified transmission facilities and federally regulated costs to increase regional transmission capacity or reliability. Otter Tail is proposing an effective date of March 1, 2011. Within its petition Otter Tail has asked that certain Administrative Rules of South Dakota (ARSD) be applied to the filing. Specifically, it has stated that suspension is required to postpone the application of the request beyond the proposed effective date. In addition, Otter Tails asserts that certain other ARSD provisions do not apply.

TODAY, shall the Commission rule that the ARSD provisions and state statutes apply to Otter Tail's petition? Shall the Commission require or allow suspension of the petition pursuant to ARSD or statute? OR how shall the Commission proceed?  

2.     EL11-003     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. for Approval of Deferred Collection of its Electric Cost Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle, Jon Thurber and Brittany Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye) 

On February 14, 2011, Black Hills Power, Inc. filed an application for approval of deferred collection of the Electric Cost Adjustment (ECA) including the Conditional Energy Cost Adjustment, the Transmission Cost Adjustment and the Steam Plant Fuel Cost Adjustment. Specifically, Black Hills Power, Inc. is proposing that the applicable costs normally includable in the ECA for the period of January through March of 2010 that would be recovered beginning March 1, 2011, through February 28, 2012, be allowed to be deferred and collected in the energy cost adjustment beginning on June 1, 2011, through May 31, 2012. The need for this deferral is due to the change in timing of the energy cost adjustment clause calculation and recovery as approved in Docket EL09-018.

TODAY, shall the Commission approve the requested deferral on less than thirty days notice?   

Telecommunications

1.     TC10-096     In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Midcontinent Communications, Knology of the Plains, Inc., and Knology of the Black Hills, LLC, Against MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services for Unpaid Access Charges (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler) 

On October 27, 2010, the Commission received a complaint from Midcontinent Communications, Knology of the Plains, Inc., and Knology of the Black Hills, LLC (Complainants) against MCI Communications Services, Inc. dba Verizon Business Services (Verizon) for unpaid access charges. The Complainants allege that Verizon has failed to pay invoices pursuant to state tariffs for the provision of intrastate switched access services. On November 18, 2010, the Commission received an Answer to Complaint, Request for Stay to Permit Settlement Negotiations, Or, in the Alternative, Request for Hearing on Threshold Factual Issues Related to Jurisdiction from Verizon. On December 21, 2010, Complainants filed a Request for Interim Relief. On December 27, 2010, Complainants filed a Request for Procedural Schedule. At its regularly scheduled Commission meeting held on January 4, 2011, it was Ordered that the Complainants' request for interim relief was denied, and that the Complainants' alternative request to cease providing intrastate switched access services to Verizon was also denied. It was also ordered that the Commission Counsel work with the parties to determine a procedural schedule. On January 14, 2011, the Commission received a Petition to Intervene by the following parties: South Dakota Network, LLC, (SDN), South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA), and Local Exchange Carriers Association (LECA). The Commission granted Intervention to all parties. On February 3, 2011, Midcontinent filed a Motion to Amend Complaint. On February 9, 2011, Verizon filed an Opposition to Midcontinent's Motion to Amend Complaint.  

TODAY, shall the Commission grant Midcontinent's Motion to Amend Complaint as requested?  OR how shall the Commission proceed?

2.     TC11-001     In the Matter of the Application of WiMacTel, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Long Distance Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)  

On January 3, 2011, the Commission received an application from WiMacTel, Inc. (WiMacTel) for a certificate of authority to provide interexchange long distance service and local exchange services in South Dakota. On January 21, 2011, the Commission received a Petition to Intervene by South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA). On February 8, 2011, the Commission granted Intervention to SDTA. On February 15, 2011, Public Utilities Staff submitted a letter stating that they consider the application incorrect, incomplete and recommends the Commission dismiss docketed item TC11-001. 

TODAY, shall the Commission dismiss the docket? 

3.     TC11-002     In the Matter of the Application of Qwest Corporation for Waiver of Switched Access Cost Study (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer) 

On January 11, 2011, the Commission received an application from Qwest Corporation for a temporary waiver or suspension of the requirement to perform a switched access cost study for good cause.  ARSD 20:10:27:02 requires a carrier's carrier to file cost data in support of its switched access service tariff no less than once every three years. The rule also provides that the Commission may, for good cause shown, either by its own motion or by application from a carrier's carrier, temporarily waive or suspend any rule in chapters 20:10:27. Qwest requests a waiver of the cost study requirement because (1) producing such a study is costly and consumes a great deal of resources; (2) Qwest does not intend to raise access rates at this time; and (3) preliminary analysis based on past studies indicates that a cost study would likely justify higher rates than even those from the last study. 

TODAY, shall the Commission grant the waiver requested by Qwest Corporation?

Items for Commission Discussion

Announcements 

1.     The Public Utilities Commission offices will be closed Monday, February 21, 2011, in observance of Presidents' Day.

2.     A hearing in Dockets TC11-003 and TC11-004 will be held February 22, 2011, beginning at 2:00 p.m., CST, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

3.     Commissioners and staff will attend the Sioux Empire Home Show, March 4-6, 2011, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.

4.     The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held Tuesday, March 8, 2011, at 2:30 p.m., CST, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

5.     Commissioners will attend the Center for Public Utilities Current Issues Conference, March 13-16, 2011, in Santa Fe, N.M.

6.     Commissioners and staff will attend the South Dakota/North Dakota Pipeline Safety Operator Training, March 15-17, 2011, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Sioux Falls, S.D.

7.     Commission meetings are scheduled for March 22 and April 5, 2011.

8.     Commissioners and staff will attend the Black Hills Home Builders Association Home Show, March 25-27, 2011, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, S.D.

 

 /S/ Cindy Kemnitz
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
February 15, 2011