South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
June 15, 2010, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Vice-Chairman Steve Kolbeck called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioner Gary Hanson; Commission Attorneys John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys Karen Cremer and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts Bob Knadle, Tim Binder, Brian Rounds, and Dave Jacobson; Consumer Affairs Supervisor Deb Gregg; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.
Also present were: Amy Arndt of Lynn, Jackson, Shultz & Lebrun, representing Basin Electric Power Cooperative (Basin); R. Russell Mather, Kevin L. Solie, and Ron Rebenitsch, Basin; Nick Sershen and Brian Minish, South Dakota Wind Partners; Loren Noess , Central Electric-Mitchell; and Darla Pollman Rogers of Riter, Rogers, Wattier, & Northrup, representing South Dakota Network, South Dakota Telephone Association, and Midstate Communications.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Chairman Dusty Johnson; Staff Analyst Nathan Solem; Suzan Stewart, Brad Howard, and Kathryn Kunert, MidAmerican Energy; Bleau LaFave, NorthWestern Energy Company; Kathy Ford of Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, representing Sprint; David Ziegler, Qwest; and Scott Swier of Swier Law Firm, representing Native American Telephone.
(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)
Chairman Johnson moved to approve the Minutes of the Commission Meetings held on May 4 and May 18, 2010. Motion passed 3-0.
1. Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
Ms. Deb Gregg reported that the Commission received a total of 85 contacts since the last report was prepared for the June 1, 2010, Commission Meeting. 19 contacts involved telecommunications services; 25 contacts involved electrical services; 16 contacts involved natural gas services; 5 contacts involved cell phone services; 14 contacts were related to the Do Not Call registry; and 6 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. In 2010, 1,318 of the 1,350 complaints registered have been resolved.
1. EL09-028 - In the Matter of the Application by PrairieWinds SD1, Inc., a subsidiary of Basin Electric Power Cooperative, for a Wind Energy Facility Permit for the PrairieWinds SD1 Wind Farm and Associated Facilities. (Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds, Nathan Solem, and Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. R. Russell Mather, Basin, stated that the Settlement Stipulation provided for up to 110 wind turbines. Mr. Mather stated that all issues have been resolved and requested approval for the Joint Motion for Approval of Stipulation. Ms. Karen Cremer, Staff Attorney, stated that Staff and Basin were able to work through issues pertaining to this docket and that Staff recommended approval of the Joint Motion for Approval of Stipulation.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the Joint Motion for Approval of Stipulation and grant a permit to construct for the PrairieWinds SD 1 Wind Farm and associated facilities. Motion passed 3-0.
1. NG10-002 - In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Its 2009 Economic Development Activities and 2010 Proposed Budget. (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Ms. Suzan Stewart, MidAmerican, introduced Staff of MidAmerican that worked with the economic development activities for the Company. Ms. Stewart provided a background on the filing and asked for Commission approval. Mr. Dave Jacobson, Staff Analyst, stated that MidAmerican had very little change from previous years filings and stated that Staff recommended approval. Commissioner Johnson mentioned that next year he would like to see further information on the effectiveness of MidAmerican's labor expenses.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve the 2009 Economic Development Activities and 2010 Proposed Budget of MidAmerican. Motion passed 3-0.
Ms. Kara Semmler, Staff Attorney, stated that this filing is related to a report by PHMSA regarding pipeline safety damage prevention programs in South Dakota. Ms. Semmler stated that it is necessary to investigate three areas: employee training, public education, and data analysis. Ms. Semmler requested authorization to open an investigation regarding a damage prevention program and asked that the Executive Director be authorized to enter into a contract to hire an expert in damage prevention. Ms. Semmler stated that a report on the findings, along with recommendations, would be presented to the Commission upon the completion of the investigation.
Vice-Chairman Kolbeck moved to investigate prevention programs, authorize the Executive Director to enter into a contract to hire an expert in damage prevention, and have Staff issue a report on the findings of the investigation. Motion passed 3-0.
1. TC10-026 - In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Sprint Communications Company, LP Against Native American Telecom, LLC Regarding Telecommunications Services. (Staff Analyst: David Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Ms. Darla Pollman Rogers, representing South Dakota Network (SDN), South Dakota Telephone Association (SDTA) and Midstate Communications (Midstate) requested that the Petitions to Intervene of SDN, SDTA, and Midstate be granted. Ms. Cremer stated that Staff recommended granting Intervention to SDN, SDTA, Midstate and AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc. (AT&T). Mr. Scott Swier, representing Native American Telecom, stated that he had no objections to the petitions to intervene. Ms. Kathy Ford, representing Sprint, stated she also had no objections. Discussion took place on Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Utility Authority's (CCSTUA) Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative Petition to Intervene.
Commissioner Hanson moved to grant intervention to SDN, SDTA, Midstate and AT&T. Motion passed 3-0.
Further discussion took place regarding CCSTUA's Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative Petition to Intervene.
Vice-Chairman Kolbeck moved to grant intervention to CCSTUA. Motion passed 3-0.
2. TC10-029 - In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Wireline Interconnection Agreement Between MCC Telephony of the Midwest and Brookings Municipal Utilities, dba Swiftel Communications for the State of South Dakota. (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
3. TC10-031 - In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Wireline Interconnection Agreement Between Qwest Corporation and Neutral Tandem, Inc. for the State of South Dakota (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
4. TC10-032 - In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Opt-In Wireline InterconnectionAgreement Between Qwest Corporation and Triarch Marketing, Inc. dba Triarch Communications for the State of South Dakota (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
5. TC10-034 - In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Wireline Interconnection Agreement Between Qwest Corporation and Greenfly Networks, Inc. dba Clearfly Communications for the State of South Dakota (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
6. TC10-035 - In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Four-Party Transit Traffic Amendment to the Wireline Interconnection Agreement Between Qwest Corporation and Neutral Tandem, Inc. for the State of South Dakota (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
7. TC10-036 - In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Originated Toll Free Service Jointly Provided Switched Access Amendment to the Wireline Interconnection Agreement Between Qwest Corporation and Neutral Tandem, Inc. for the State of South Dakota (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Ms. Semmler stated that all the agreements and amendments were properly filed, properly executed and do not appear to contain discriminatory provisions. No comments were filed and Ms. Semmler recommended approval of all the agreements and amendments.
Commissioner Hansonmoved to approve the Interconnection Agreements and Amendments to the Interconnections Agreements. Motion passed 3-0.
ADDENDUM TO THE
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING
Mr. Bleau LaFave, NorthWestern, asked the Commission to approve the contracts with deviation. Mr. Dave Jacobson stated that all the filings were similar and consistent with prior similar contracts, but some minor housekeeping needs to be completed with the tariff revisions of dockets NG10-004 and NG10-005. Mr. Jacobson recommended approval of the contracts for deviation with less than 30 days notice and an effective date of June 15, 2010.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve the Contracts with Deviations and associated tariff revision with an effective date of June 15, 2010. Motion passed 3-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 10:32 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned. The next Commission Meeting is scheduled for July 7, 2010.
June 15, 2010