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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 28, 2012, at 2:30 P.M. CST
Room 412, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Chris Nelson called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioners: Kristie Fiegen and Gary Hanson; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Ryan Soye and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts: Ross Pedersen, Patrick Steffensen, David Jacobson, Brian Rounds, Brittany Mehlhaff, Jon Thurber, and Chris Daugaard; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Joy Irving and Demaris Axthelm.

Also present were: Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; and Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, and Northrup LLP, representing Local Exchange Carrier's Association.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Dave Prazak, Otter Tail Power Company; Kari Valley and Phil Zens, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Walker Witt, Black Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Jeff Bonn, Cam-Wal Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Melissa Maher, Moreau Grand Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Wayne Sterkel, LaCreek Electric Association, Inc.; Rodney Haag, Oahe Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Ken Ceagleske, Niobrara Electric Association; Dick Johnson, West River Electric Association, Inc.; Kathy Ford, Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz, and Smith, LLP, representing Midcontinent Communications; Mary Lohnes, Midcontinent Communications; Meredith Moore, Cutler and Donahoe, LLP, representing PaeTec Communications, Inc.; Wayne Johnson, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Winafred Brantl, MCC Telephony of the Midwest, LLC; Lisa Jill Freeman and Sharon Thomas, Bandwidth.com CLEC, LLC.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Ad Hoc Commission Meetings held on February 13, 2012, and February 17, 2012 (Staff: Joy Irving)


     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the minutes of Ad Hoc Commission Meetings held on February 13, 2012, and February 17, 2012. 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 81 contacts since the last report was prepared for the February 14, 2012 Commission meeting.

9 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 16 of the contacts involved electrical services, 8 contacts involved natural gas service, 4 contacts involved cell phone service, 33 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 1 contact was related to Wind Energy and 10 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

309 of the 328 complaints received in 2012 have been resolved.

2,759 of the 2,760 complaints received in 2011 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL11-031     In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Matthew Tysdal; Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Mr. Ryan Soye, staff attorney, stated there are several substantial changes in rates proposed for this filing and noticed a large decrease in payments offered. Mr. Soye recommended the Commission grant approval of the tariff revisions.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the tariff revisions.  Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL12-003     In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy to Discontinue Customer Buyback Program (Staff Analyst: Matthew Tysdal; Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Mr. Ryan Soye, staff attorney, recommended approval regarding the discontinuation of Xcel's Customer Buyback Program and that these tariff pages can be deleted from Xcel's South Dakota Electric Rate Book.

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

Dockets EL12-004, EL12-005, EL12-006, EL12-008, EL12-009, EL12-010, EL12-011, and EL12-012 were heard together.

3.     EL12-004     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Butte Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Black Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)
        
4.     EL12-005     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between LaCreek Electric Association, Inc. and Black Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

5.     EL12-006     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Moreau Grand Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Cam-Wal Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)
        
6.     EL12-008     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Moreau Grand Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Oahe Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

7.     EL12-009     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Niobrara Electric Association and Black Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

8.     EL12-010     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between West River Electric Association, Inc. and Butte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

9.     EL12-011     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between West River Electric Association, Inc. and LaCreek Electric Association, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)    

10.     EL12-012     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between West River Electric Association, Inc. and Moreau Grand Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Mr. Ross Pedersen, staff analyst, explained that the filings are part of the GIS mapping project to verify all South Dakota electric service territory boundaries for input into the ArcMap software. Mr. Pedersen stated the filings do not change the service provider for any consumers but may affect updates to incorrect mapping data. Staff requested approval of all of the electric service territory agreements.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement in dockets EL12-004, EL12-005, EL12-006, EL12-008, EL12-009, EL12-010, EL12-011, and EL12-012.  Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC12-013     In the Matter of the Filing by Midcontinent Communications for Approval of Revisions to Its Access Services Tariff (Staff Analyst: Jon Thurber, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, stated Midcontinent filed a revised tariff on February 23, 2012. The tariffs appear to be filed according to the FCC Order and staff recommends approval of the tariff revisions with an effective date of December 29, 2011, for the VoIP portions of the tariff and a February 29, 2012, effective date for the remainder of the tariff. Following discussion of the tariff revisions, Midcontinent agreed to file further tariff revisions.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to defer the docket to the March 13, 2012, Commission meeting.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to make a substitute motion to approve the tariff with changes referenced. Motion carried 2-1. Fiegen dissented.

2.     TC12-016     In the Matter of the Complaint and request for Declaratory Ruling filed by Midcontinent Communications Against PaeTec Communications, Inc. and McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, L.L.C. regarding the Delivery of Telecommunications Traffic and Payment for such Traffic (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Rich Coit, SDTA, and Ms. Darla Rogers, LECA, stated their interest is predominately due to the policy implication connected to the declaratory ruling. Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended the Commission grant intervention.      

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant intervention to all parties. Motion carried 3-0.
        
     Commissioner Nelson moved to confirm February 8, 2012 as the beginning of the initial 60 day period for a ruling and grant staff's motion to extend the deadline with an additional 60 days.  Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC12-020     In the Matter of the Approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, and its Commercial Mobile Radio Service operating affiliates, dba AT&T Mobility for the State of South Dakota (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, stated the amendment to the interconnection agreement was properly filed, properly executed, and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions. No comments were filed. Staff recommended the Commission approve the amendment to the Interconnection Agreement.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the amendment to the interconnection agreement. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     TC12-021     In the Matter of the Filing by MCC Telephony of the Midwest, LLC for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: David Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, stated that the tariffs were filed according to the FCC Order and staff recommended approval of the tariff revisions filed on February 23, 2012. Discussion of the tariff revision followed. MCC agreed to file further revisions to its tariff.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the requested tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     TC12-022     In the Matter of the Filing by Bandwidth.com CLEC, LLC for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: David Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, stated that the tariffs were filed according to the FCC Order and staff recommended approval of the tariff revisions filed on February 23, 2012.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the requested tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

     There being no further business, at the hour of 3:15 p.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned. The next Commission meeting is scheduled for March 13, 2012.

 

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
February 28, 2012