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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
March 18, 2014, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Vice Chairman 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: Karen Cremer and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds, Robin Meyerink, Darren Kearney, Eric Paulson, Boice Hillmer, and David Henry; and Staff: Katlyn Gustafson

Also present were:
Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; and Margo Northrup, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Chairman: Gary Hanson; Mary Zanter, Pipeline Safety Program Manager; Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Ron Gogolin, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; Dave Prazak, Otter Tail Power Company; Tamie Aberle and Pat Darras, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on February 18, 2014 (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on February 18, 2014.  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 52 contacts since the last report was prepared for the March 4, 2014 Commission meeting.

6 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 15 of the contacts involved electrical services, 6 of the contacts involved natural gas service, 3 contacts involved cell phone service, 9 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 1 contact was related to the Grain Warehouse Division, 1 contact was related to One Call, 1 contact was related to Wind Energy and 10 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

402 of the 442 complaints received in 2014 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL13-032      In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Lake Region Electric Association, Inc. and NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. David Henry, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement in docket EL13-032.  Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL13-038      In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Traverse Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Lake Region Electric Association, Inc. (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. David Henry, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement in docket EL13-038.  Motion carried 3-0. 

3.     EL14-014      In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Lake Region Electric Association, Inc. and Northern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. David Henry, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement docket.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement in docket EL14-014.  Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL14-016      In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of its 2014 Transmission Cost Recovery Eligibility and Rate Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess a filing fee up to the amount of $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date. Ms. Edwards also recommended that the Commission suspend the imposition of the tariff for 180 days beyond February 21, 2014.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to assess a filing fee up to the amount of $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date and suspend the imposition of the tariff for 180 days beyond February 21, 2014.  Motion carried 3-0.

5.     EL14-021      In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Dave Prazak, Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail), requested approval of revisions to Section 1.05 sheets 12, 14 and 16 of its Tariff. Mr. Prazak stated that the purpose of the revisions is to update Otter Tail's e-business efforts to improve services to customers that wish to use electronic bill paying services. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval to Otter Tail's request on less than 30 days' notice.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the tariff revisions on less than 30 days' notice, with an effective date of March 18, 2014. Motion carried 3-0.

Pipeline Safety

1.     PS13-008      In the Matter of the Filing by Commission Pipeline Safety Staff for Approval of a Penalty for a Pipeline Safety Violation by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., East River Area (Staff Analyst: Mary Zanter; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket PS13-008. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2014, March 18, 2014, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2014/puc03182014.mp3

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement StipulationMotion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC13-026      In the Matter of Study Area Boundaries for Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (Commission Attorney: Rolayne Wiest)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket TC13-026. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2014, March 18, 2014, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2014/puc03182014.mp3

     Commissioner Nelson moved to delegate Staff the authority to certify study area boundary changes as they are made. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC14-004      In the Matter of the Filing by Onvoy, Inc. dba Onvoy Voice Services for Waiver Approval (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant Onvoy, Inc. dba Onvoy Voice Services (Onvoy) a waiver which would allow Onvoy to temporarily have two LRNs on one switch in LATA 640.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the request for the waiver. Motion carried 3-0.

Items for Commission Discussion

1.     Commissioner Nelson moved to defer Item for Commission Discussion until April 15, 2014. Motion carried 3-0.

     There being no further business, at the hour of 10:11 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/S/Joy Lashley
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
March 4, 2014