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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
July 30, 2013, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 414, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioners: Chris Nelson and Kristie Fiegen; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Brittany Mehlhaff, Matthew Tysdal, Darren Kearney, Jason Simmons, Eric Paulson, Robin Meyerink, Brian Rounds, and David Henry; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Sherry Dickerson

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Scott Knudson, representing Sprint Communications Company, LP Briggs and Morgan, PA; Marlene Bennett, Consortia Consulting, representing Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. and Midstate Telecom, Inc.; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. and Midstate Telecom, Inc.; Darin LaCoursiere, Valley Telecom Coop Assoc.; Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc.; Mark Benton, Midstate Telecom, Inc.; and Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association

(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on July 11, 2013 (Staff: Tina Douglas)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the Minutes of the Commission Meeting held on July 11, 2013. 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 108 contacts since the last report was prepared for the July 11, 2013 Commission meeting.

32 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 36 of the contacts involved electrical services, 2 contacts involved natural gas service, 13 contacts involved cell phone service, 6 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 1 contact was related to One Call and 18 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

1,041 of the 1,087 complaints received in 2013 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL11-006     In the Matter of the Complaint by Oak Tree Energy LLC against NorthWestern Energy for refusing to enter into a Purchase Power Agreement (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding dockets EL11-006. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2013, July 30, 2013, recording located at:

     Commissioner Hanson moved to rule that the version of § 5.5.3 proposed by NWE that requires Oak Tree to pay, within thirty days after NWE's invoice, any charges for ancillary services assessed against NWE by WAPA or a New Joint Transmission Authority that are directly attributable to Oak Tree's generation, delivery, and integration of energy into the system be approved and incorporated in the parties' PPA. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to rule that the version of the first paragraph of § 6.5.1 proposed by NWE that allows NWE to curtail Oak Tree's delivery of energy as otherwise necessary for the purpose of managing its generation portfolio and avoiding or mitigating adverse effects to NWE or its customers be approved and incorporated in the parties' PPA. Motion carried 2-1. Commissioner Nelson dissenting.

     Commissioner Hanson moved that Oak Tree's proposed § 8.2.3 not be included in the parties' PPA and that the PPA with the above resolutions is compliant with PURPA and just and reasonable to both parties within the parameters set by PURPA Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL13-024     In the Matter of the Joint Request for Service Rights Exception between Otter Tail Power Company and Sioux Valley Energy Electric Cooperative (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Scott Wiese, Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail),  asked that the Commission approve the Service Territory Agreement between Otter Tail Power Company and Sioux Valley Energy Electric Cooperative. Mr. Wiese stated that the exception to the existing service territory boundary will permit Otter Tail to provide three-phase service to Carper Farms, located in Sioux Valley Energy Electric Cooperative's service territory, for a grain handling expansion. Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the requested service rights exception.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the requested service rights exception. Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG13-003       In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of its Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Debbie Kutsunis, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican), asked that the Commission approve its revisions to the Transportation Service section of its South Dakota Gas Sales Tariff. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended approval with an effective date July 31, 2013.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed tariff revisions with an effective date July 31, 2013.Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC10-026     In the Matter of a Complaint Filed by Sprint Communications Company, LP Against Native American Telecom, LLC Regarding Telecommunications Services (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding dockets TC10-026. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2013, July 30, 2013, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2013/puc07302013.mp3

     Docket deferred to later date.   

2.     TC12-040     In the Matter of the Filing by Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc. (AT&T), asked that the Commission grant the Motion to Withdraw AT&T's intervention. Ms. Darla Rogers, Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (LECA), had no objection to AT&T's request. Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, requested that the Commission grant AT&T's Motion to Withdraw its intervention.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant AT&T's Motion to Withdraw, clarify that no retroactivite adjustment of tariff page 17-4.5 is needed, and close the docket. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC13-023     In the Matter of the Filing by Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc., for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing Local Exchange Carriers Association (LECA), asked that the Commission approve the revised tariff pages for LECA's Tariff No. 1. Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve LECA's revised tariff pages for its Tariff No. 1.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve LECA's revised tariff pages for its Tariff No. 1 with an effective date of July 1, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     TC13-040     In the Matter of the Filing by Metropolitan Telecommunications of South Dakota, Inc. dba MetTel for Approval of Revisions of its Access Services Tariff No. 3 (Staff Analyst: Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Patrick Finnegan, Metropolitan Telecommunications of South Dakota, Inc. dba MetTel, requested that the Commission approve the revisions to MetTel's Competitive Access Provider Services Tariff Number 3. Ms. Robin Meyerink, staff analyst, recommended approval with an effective date of July 1, 2013.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the requested tariff revisions effective as of July 1, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     TC13-043     In the Matter of the Filing by Knology of the Plains, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Melissa Marks, Knology of the Plains, Inc. (Knology), asked that the Commission approve the tariff changes with an effective date of July 2, 2013. Ms. Robin Meyerink, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Knology's requested tariff revisions effective July 2, 2013.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the requested tariff revisions with an effective date July 2, 2013.Motion carried 3-0.

6.     TC13-050     In the Matter of the Filing by TNCI Operating Company LLC for Approval of its Access Service Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Andrew Isar, Millar Isar Inc., representing TNCI Operating Company LLC (TNCI), asked that the Commission approve the initial South Dakota switched exchange access tariff, South Dakota P.U.C. Tariff No. 1. Ms. Robin Meyerink recommended that the Commission approve TNCI's initial access tariff No. 1 with an effective date of July 30, 2013.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed initial access tariff No. 1 is approved effective on July 30, 2013.  Motion carried 3-0.

7.     TC13-052     In the Matter of the Filing by Midstate Telecom, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst: Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney; Karen Cremer)

Ms. Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing Midstate Telecom, Inc. (Midstate), asked that the Commission approve the revisions to Midstate's Tariff No. 2. Ms. Robin Meyerink, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Midstate's Tariff No. 2 effective July 2, 2013.
     
     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the requested tariff revisions effective on July 2, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

8.     TC13-061     In the Matter of the Filing by Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc., for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Wendy Harper, Vantage Point Solutions, representing Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. fka SSTELECOM (ITC CLEC) asked that the Commission approve the revised tariff pages to ITC CLEC's Intrastate Switched Access Services Tariff No 1. Ms. Robin Meyerink, staff analyst, recommended granting the waiver of 20:10:27:02.01 and approving the tariff.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the requested tariff revisions with an effective date of July 1, 2013 and grant the requested waiver of ARSD 20:10:27:02.01.Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 11:53 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

 

/S/Joy Lashley
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
July 30, 2013