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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
August 24, 2011, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Commissioner Chris Nelson called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioner Kristie Fiegen; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Kara Semmler and Ryan Soye; Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Bobbi Bourk, Chris Daugaard, Brian Rounds, Brittany Mehlhaff and Ross Pedersen; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg and Staff: Demaris Axthelm

Also present were: Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing RC Communications, Inc dba RC Services, Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc., Valley Telecommunications Cooperative Association, Inc., City of Faith Municipal Telephone Company and Western Telephone Company; Kim Pederson, Brenda Sandahl and Heidi Konynenbelt, Otter Tail Power Company; and Randy Houdek, Western Telephone Company.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Chairman Gary Hanson; Ryan Taylor, Cutler & Donahoe LLP, representing Alliance Communications Cooperative, Inc., Splitrock Properties Inc., Midstate Communications, Inc, Midstate Telecom, Inc., and SSTELECOM, Inc. dba ITC; Jim Cremer, Bantz Gosch & Cremer LLC, representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC and James Valley Cooperative Telephone Company; Wayne Johnson, Qwest Corporation dba Century Link, QC; Greg Hart, Jefferson Telephone Company; Kari Flanegan, Alliance Communications Cooperative and Splitrock Properties Inc.; Debbie Brown, Faith Municipal Telephone Company; Denny Law, Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc.; Todd Hansen, Beresford Municipal Telephone Company; Tim Ecklund and Kim Stumpp, Consortia Consulting representing Faith Municipal Telephone Company, Beresford Municipal Telephone Company, RC Communications, Inc dba RC Services and Valley Telecommunications Cooperative Association, Inc.; Marsha Huber and John Tormoehlen, Valley Telecommunications; Jerry Reisenauer, West River Cooperative Telephone Company; Donna Thiel, Red River Rural Telephone Association; and Richard Johnson, Moss & Barnett, representing Red River Rural Telephone Association and Farmers Mutual Telephone Company.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on August 9, 2011. (Staff: Demaris Axthelm)

Commissioner Gary Hanson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission Meeting held on August 9, 2011 Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

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

The Commission received a total of 101 contacts since the last report was prepared for the August 9, 2011 Commission meeting.

20 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 19 of the contacts involved electrical services, 6 contacts involved natural gas service, 20 contacts involved cell phone service, 22 contacts
were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 1 contact was related to One Call, and 13 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

1,900 of the 1,977 complaints received in 2011 have been resolved.

Electric

1.      In the Matter of the Request for approval of Otter Tail Power Company's 2010 and 2011 plan update and 2012 and 2013 proposed energy efficiency plan.

         EL11-008        In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company Regarding Its 2010 and 2011 Energy Efficiency Plan Update(Staff Analysts: Ross Pedersen, Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

         EL11-012        In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company Regarding its Proposed South Dakota Energy Efficiency Plan for 2012-2013 (Staff Analysts: Ross Pedersen, Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Kim Pederson, Otter Tail Power Company (OTP), asked that the Commission approve OTP's 2010 financial incentive of $73,145 for achieving nearly $2.5 million in net benefits over the life of the 2010 program. Ms. Pederson further asked that the Commission approve the 2012-2013 Energy Efficiency Plan that consists of 9 programs to achieve approximately 2.2 million kilowatt hours savings at a budget of $280,000. Ms. Pederson then asked for approval to continue the energy adjustment surcharge of .00063 cents per kilowatt hour on customer bills with the next status report being filed with the Commission on May 1, 2012.  Ryan Soye on behalf of commission staff recommended approval of the requested actions but asked that a cap be placed on the 30% incentive payment stated in the proposal.   

         Commissioner Nelson moved in Docket EL11-008 and EL11-012 to approve Otter Tail Power Company's 2010 energy efficiency report, financial incentive, approve the request for continuation of the program in 2012, and approve the 2012-2013 Energy Efficiency Plan with the cap recommendation by staff.  Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.      TC11-014           In the Matter of the Approval of the Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and South Dakota Network, LLC (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Wayne Johnson asked the commission to approve the Interconnection agreement. Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, stated the agreement was properly filed, properly executed and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions. No comments were filed and Ms. Semmler recommended approval of the agreement.

         Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the agreement.  Motion carried 3-0.

2.      In the Matter of the Request for Certification Regarding the Use of Federal Universal Service Support in Dockets TC11-021, TC11-023, TC11-025, TC11-030, TC11-032, TC11-033, TC11-035, TC11-036, TC11-038, TC11-040, TC11-041, TC11-042, TC11-045, TC11-053, TC11-055, TC11-058 and TC11-060.

Commissioner Nelson stated that Dockets in Telecommunications Item 2 would be heard separately with one motion, unless a Docket would require a separate motion.

         TC11-021           In the Matter of the Request of Jefferson Telephone Company for Certification Regarding Its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-023           In the Matter of the Request of Alliance Communications Cooperative, Inc. for Certification Regarding Its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-025           In the Matter of the Request of Splitrock Properties Inc. for Certification Regarding Its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-030           In the Matter of the Request of City of Faith Municipal Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-032           In the Matter of the Request of West River Cooperative Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-033           In the Matter of the Request of Western Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-035           In the Matter of the Request of Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-036           In the Matter of the Request of Beresford Municipal Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-038           In the Matter of the Request of Valley Telecommunications Cooperative Association, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-040           In the Matter of the Request of RC Communications, Inc., dba RC Services for Certification Regarding its use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-041           In the Matter of the Request of Midstate Communications, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-042           In the Matter of the Request of Midstate Telecom, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-045           In the Matter of the Request of SSTELECOM, Inc. dba ITC for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-053           In the Matter of the Request of Northern Valley Communications, LLC for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney:  Kara Semmler)

         TC11-055           In the Matter of the Request of James Valley Cooperative Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-058           In the Matter of the Request of Farmers Mutual Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         TC11-060           In the Matter of the Request of Red River Rural Telephone Association for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         All companies involved in Telecommunications Item 2 were represented in person or on the phone. A limited number of questions by Commissioners were responded to.

Commissioner Hanson moved to provide in Dockets TC11-021, TC11-023, TC11-025, TC11-030, TC11-032, TC11-033, TC11-035, TC11-036, TC11-038, TC11-040, TC11-041, TC11-042, TC11-045, TC11-053, TC11-055, TC11-058 and TC11-060 a Certification to the Federal Communications Commission and to the Universal Service Administration Company regarding the Plan for the Use of Federal Universal Services Support. Motion carried 3-0.

3.      TC11-079           In the Matter of the Filing by Qwest Corporation d/b/a Century Link QC for Approval of Revisions to its Exchange and Network Tariff (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         Wayne Johnson from Qwest Corporation d/b/a Century Link (Century Link) stated that the parent company will remain unchanged; and they would be going forward as d/b/a Century Link according to the merger.  Dave Jacobson on behalf of commission staff recommended approval with a effective date of August 24, 2011.

         Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the proposed tariff changes with an effective date of August 24, 2011. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:07 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned. The next Commission meeting is scheduled for August 30, 2011.

 

/S/Demaris Axthelm
Demaris Axthelm
Administrative Secretary
puc@state.sd.us
August 24, 2011