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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
August 9, 2011, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioner Chris Nelson; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer; Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Brittany Mehlhaff, Jon Thurber, Bobbi Bourk, Chris Daugaard, Brian Rounds, and Ross Pedersen; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg and Staff: Demaris Axthelm
Also present were: Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; and Margo Northrup, Riter, Rogers, Wattier and Northrup, representing RT Communications, Inc. and West River Telecommunications Cooperative.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Staff Analyst Ryan Soye; Tami Aberle and Karen Collins, Montana Dakota Utilities Company; Jim Cremer, representing Northern Valley Telecommunication, LLC; Sara Dannen, NorthWestern Corporation; Ryan Taylor, representing Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc.; Jason Hendricks, RT Communications, Inc.; Tim Eklund, Consortia Consulting, representing RC Communications, Inc.; Bruce Hanson, Fort Randall Telephone Company; Dave Bickett, Joe Beckert and Mary Jo Bieglen, Valley Telephone Company; Mitch Grosz, West River Telecommunications Cooperative; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing Fiber Ring Revenue-Pooling Association; Kristi Cavanaugh and Larry Thompson, Vantage Point, representing Fiber Ring Revenue-Pooling Association; and Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC.
1. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on July 26, 2011. (Staff: Lennis Axdahl)
Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission Meeting held on July 26, 2011. Motion carried 2-0.
1. Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
The Commission received a total of 99 contacts since the last report was prepared for the July 26, 2011 Commission meeting.
8 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 21 of the contacts involved electrical services, 12 contacts involved natural gas service, 31 contacts involved cell phone service, 14 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, and 13 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.
1,802 of the 1,876 complaints received in 2011 have been resolved.
Tami Aberle, of Montana-Dakota (MDU), stated the proposed changes are needed to reflect MDU's changed avoided cost energy and capacity costs. Ms. Aberle made note of the submission of revised tariff sheets after the initial filing due to errors found in the initial submission. The proposed updates to the avoided energy costs are required to reflect an increase in MISO market prices. In addition, MDU proposed the reimplementation of the Time of Day provisions for Rates 96 and 97 which were removed in a previous filing, EL10-006. Ms. Aberle reported that only one customer is currently covered by the applicable rates, and proposed changes will positively affect the customer as the payment rates will increase. Ross Pedersen, on behalf of commission staff, recommended approval of MDU's tariff revisions and stated that the updated avoided cost information properly reflect amounts projected in the company's 2011 Integrated Resource Plan.
Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the tariff revisions. Motion carried 2-0.
2. EL11-021 In the Matter of the Request for an Electric Service Territory Boundary Change between NorthWestern Corporation and Clay-Union Electric Corporation (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)
Ross Pedersen on part of commission staff stated that the agreement for service territory change made by NorthWestern and Clay-Union was made to reflect territories actually served by the parties.
Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the request for service territory change. Motion carried 2-0.
1. TC09-031 In the Matter of the Filing by Northern Valley Communications, L.L.C. for an Extension of an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates (Staff Analyst: Jon Thurber, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Jim Cremer, Northern Valley Telecommunication, LLC stated that since the rules in RM05-002 were effective May 30, 2011, it is now appropriate to dismiss and close the docket. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, agreed with Northern Valley Telecommunication to dismiss and close docket TC09-031.
Commissioner Nelson moved to dismiss and close this docket. Motion carried 2-0.
2. In the Matter of the Request for Certification Regarding the Use of Federal Universal Service Support in Dockets TC11-043, TC11-051, TC11-059, TC11-061 and TC11-064.
Brian Rounds staff analyst recommended to the commission that the following Dockets be approved together: Dockets TC11-043, TC11-051, TC11-059, TC11-061 and TC11-064.
TC11-043 In the Matter of the Request of Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
TC11-059 In the Matter of the Request of Fort Randall Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support ((Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
TC11-064 In the Matter of the Request of West River Telecommunications Cooperative (Mobridge) for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
The Commission did not hear any comments or concerns from the companies requesting Certification Regarding their use of Federal Universal Service Support.
Commissioner Nelson moved to provide Certifications to the Federal Communications Commission and to the Universal Service Administration Company regarding the Plan for the Use of federal Universal Services Support in Dockets TC11-043, TC11-051, TC11-059, TC11-061 and TC11-064. Motion carried 2-0.
Darla Rogers, attorney for Fiber Ring Revenue-Pooling Association (FRRPA), explained the filing. Staff Analyst Dave Jacobson recommended approval with the condition that approval in this docket does not preclude the Commission from making any adjustments in individual switched access cost studies related to FRRPA's revenue, expenses or plant.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the Amended Revenue Pooling Documents with the condition as stated by staff. Motion carried 2-0.
Jason Topp representing Qwest Corporation d/b/a Century Link, explained that the filing facilitated a name change. Dave Jacobson of Commission Staff recommended approval with an August 9 effective date.
Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the Tariff Revisions to CenturyLink QC's access service tariff. Motion carried 2-0.
5. TC11-080 In the Matter of the Approval of an Amendment to the Type 2 Wireless Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and Brookings Municipal Utilities Telephone Department dba Swiftel Communications for the State of South Dakota (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Karen Cremer, staff attorney, stated that the amendment to the agreement was properly filed, properly executed and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions. No comments were filed, and staff recommended approval of the amendment to the agreement.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement. Motion carried 2-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 9:57 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned. The next Commission meeting is scheduled for August 24, 2011.
August 9, 2011