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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
January 7, 2014, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Vice Chairman Chris Nelson called the meeting to order. Present were: Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds, Darren Kearney, Robin Meyerink, Eric Paulson, Brittany Mehlhaff, David Henry, and Patrick Steffensen; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Joy Lashley

Also present were:
Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.; Jeff Carmon, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Chris Kilpatrick, Amy Koenig, Vance Crocker, and Mike Thies, Black Hills Power, Inc.; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; and Margo Northrup, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing South Dakota Rural Electric Association

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Chairman: Gary Hanson; Commissioner: Kristie Fiegen; Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Larry Janes, One Call Executive Director; Melissa Baruth, NorthWestern Energy; Gary Clayton, Rosebud Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Loren Noess, Central Electric Cooperative, Inc.; and Tamie Aberle, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Hearing and Commission Meeting Held on December 17, 2013 (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the minutes of the Hearing and Commission Meeting held on December 17, 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 77 contacts since the last report was prepared for the December 17, 2013 Commission meeting.

7 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 22 of the contacts involved electrical services, 8 of the contacts involved natural gas service, 1 contact involved gas and electric service, 4 contacts involved cell phone service, 21 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, and 14 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

1,841 of the 1,860 complaints received in 2013 have been resolved.

13 of the 20 complaints received in 2014 have been resolved.

Electric

1.    EL13-036     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. for Approval of Deferred Accounting for Costs Incurred Due to Winter Storm Atlas Damage and to Transfer the Remaining Plant Balance for the Soon to be Decommissioned Neil Simpson I, Osage, and Ben French Plants to a Regulatory Asset. (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL13-036. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2014, January 7, 2014, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2014/puc01072014.mp3

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to allow BHP to use deferred accounting for costs incurred as a result of Winter Storm Atlas and authorize BHP to transfer the remaining plant balance including spare parts inventory, for the soon to be decommissioned Ben French, Osage, and Neil Simpson I plants to a regulatory asset.  Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL13-037     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Howard Municipal Electric and Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy. (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. David Henry, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the proposed electric territory boundary agreement between Howard Municipal Electric and Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL13-039     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Rosebud Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. David Henry, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the proposed electric territory boundary agreement between Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Rosebud Electric Cooperative, Inc.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement.Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL13-040     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Howard Municipal Electric (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. David Henry, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the proposed electric territory boundary agreement between Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Howard Municipal Electric.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement.Motion carried 3-0.

5.     EL13-041     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Dakota Energy Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. David Henry, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the proposed electric territory boundary agreement between Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Dakota Energy Cooperative, Inc.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement.Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG12-008     In the Matter of the Application of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Authority to Increase its Natural Gas Rates (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes, & Thompson, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), asked that the Commission grant MDU's motion to amend the order regarding its refund plan. Ms. Tamie Aberle, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), explained that MDU was advised that due to technology constraints, MDU would be unable to utilize the method approved for Black Hills Power in docket EL12-061. Ms. Aberle requested that the Commission amend its Order dated on December 9, 2013. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, stated staff had no objections to MDU's request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to amend its December 9, 2013 Order and approve the general refund methodology approved for Xcel in docket EL12-046.Motion carried 3-0.

South Dakota One Call

1.     NorthWestern Energy filed complaints against CenturyLink alleging that CenturyLink did not locate within the time period required by South Dakota law in dockets OC13-010, OC13-015, OC13-016 and OC13-017

     OC13-010     In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by NorthWestern Energy, Huron, South Dakota, Against CenturyLink, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, for an Incident Occurring on June 27, 2013, in Redfield, South Dakota (Executive Director: Larry Janes; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

     OC13-015     In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by NorthWestern Energy, Huron, South Dakota, Against CenturyLink, Sioux Falls, South Dakota for an Incident Occurring on July 17, 2013, at 1210 S. Ohlman St., Mitchell, S.D. (Executive Director: Larry Janes; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

     OC13-016     In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by NorthWestern Energy, Huron, South Dakota, Against CenturyLink, Sioux Falls, South Dakota for an Incident Occurring on July 17, 2013, at 1123 S. Anderson St., Mitchell, S.D., for Locate Ticket 131960200 (Executive Director: Larry Janes; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

     OC13-017     In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by NorthWestern Energy, Huron, South Dakota, Against CenturyLink, Sioux Falls, South Dakota for an Incident Occurring on July 17, 2013, at 1125 S. Anderson St., Mitchell, S.D., for Locate Ticket 131960205 (Executive Director: Larry Janes; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the above dockets be closed as payments were received on January 3, 2014. A lengthy discussion took place regarding the above dockets OC13-010, OC13-015, OC13-016, and OC13-017. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2014, January 7, 2014, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2014/puc01072014.mp3

Commissioner Nelson moved to dismiss the above dockets as payment was made. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC13-136     In the Matter of the Approval of a Wireline Adoption Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Onvoy, Inc. (Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC, requested that the Commission approve the interconnection agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Onvoy, Inc. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, stated that the agreement was properly filed, properly executed, and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions, and no comments were filed. Ms. Edwards recommended that the Commission grant approval.

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

Leadership

South Dakota Codified Law 49-1-8 states in part that, "The members of the Commission shall elect a chairperson by majority vote and prescribe his duties." SDCL 49-1-12 requires that, "Every vote and official action of the Public Utilities Commission shall be entered of record and its proceedings shall be public upon the request of either party or any person interested." SDCL 1-25-1 requires that all official meetings of the Commission be open to the public. Accordingly, the determination of the Commission's leadership structure shall be made at this public meeting.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to nominate Commissioner Hanson for the position of Chairman. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to nominate Commissioner Nelson for the position of Vice Chairman. Motion carried 3-0.

     There being no further business, at the hour of 10:36 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/S/Joy Lashley
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
January 7, 2014