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PLEASE NOTE: There is an Addendum to this agenda.
PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING
July 29, 1997; 1:00 P.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 412
Pierre, South Dakota
NOTE: If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 5:00 p.m. on July 28, 1997.
NOTE: Notice is further given to persons with disabilities that this Commission meeting is being held in a physically accessible place. If you have special needs, please notify the Commission and we will make all necessary arrangements.
AGENDA OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
1. Approval Of The Minutes Of The Commission Meetings Held On July 15 and July 18, 1997. (Staff: Shirleen Fugitt.)Consumer Affairs
1. Status Report On Consumer Utility Inquiries And Complaints Recently Received By The Commission. (Consumer Representative: Leni Healy.)
The Commission has received 807 consumer contacts during 1997. 65 contacts have been received since the July 15, 1997, Commission meeting. A total of 544 complaints have been resolved informally during 1997.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: 49 of the contacts involved telecommunication issues. 18 contacts involved the unauthorized switching of long distance services; 9 contacts were service related; 7 contacts dealt with sex line calls; 4 disconnection issues were handled; 2 contacts involved Caller ID; 2 contacts dealt with telemarketers; 2 contacts did not receive service when promised; and wrong rates; billing; charges; buried cable; directory issues each reported one contact.
ELECTRICITY: 12 complaints involving electricity were reported. 4 contacts involved disconnections, 2 billing contacts were made; 2 incidents of unfair competition were reported; and a bad meter problem, account transfer issue, an outage, and placement of a transformer were addressed.
NATURAL GAS: 4 complaints involving natural gas were reported. 2 disconnection issues were handled; 1 account transfer issue was raised and 1 billing contact was made.Natural Gas
1. NG97-012 IN THE MATTER OF COMPLAINT FILED BY ARNOLD MURRAY CONSTRUCTION, SIOUX FALLS, SD, AGAINST MIDAMERICAN ENERGY COMPANY REGARDING TRANSFERRING UNPAID BALANCES TO ITS ACCOUNT. (Consumer Representative: Leni Healy. Legal Intern: Tricia Zimmer.)
On July 11, 1997, the Commission received a complaint from Arnold Murray Construction, Sioux Falls, (Complainant) against MidAmerican Energy (Respondent) regarding transferring unpaid balances to its account. The complaint states: "MidAmerican Energy is transferring final bills from one meter that's inactive to an active meter. They do not provide usage, addresses, etc. We did not give our permission for this. As a property manager who fee manages for other owners, this is very confusing. We are getting the bills for other owners and/or tenants and properties that should not be paid by us. The bills cannot even be checked for accuracy without a separate bill. We have approximately 100+ accounts that took 2 days of phone calls to straighten out. Locally they agree with us. However, these are billed out of DesMoines...." "Order them to stop this practice.... They should have to require my consent to do this...."
TODAY, does the Commission find probable cause of an unlawful or unreasonable act, rate, practice or omission to go forward with this complaint and serve it upon the Respondent?Electricity
1. EL96-021 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY RAYMOND AND BEVERLY NORDSTROM, SPEARFISH, SD, AGAINST E ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. AND BLACK HILLS POWER AND LIGHT REGARDING ELECTRICAL SERVICE TO CERTAIN LOTS IN MOUNTAIN SHADOWS MOBILE HOME PARK, SPEARFISH, SD. (Staff Engineer: Martin Bettmann. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On August 30, 1996, the Commission received a complaint from Raymond and Beverly Nordstrom (Complainants), Spearfish, SD, against e Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Black Hills Power and Light (Respondents). The issue in the complaint is which Respondent should provide electrical service to certain lots located in Mountain Shadows Mobile Home Park in Spearfish, SD. The Complainant requests that the entire park be served by only one of the providers. A regularly scheduled meeting of October 8, 1996, the Commission deferred action in this matter. A regularly scheduled meeting of November 1, 1996, the Commission found probable cause in this matter and directed the executive director to set a procedural schedule. The parties subsequently resolved this matter without going to hearing and Complainants filed a letter with the Commission on January 2, 1997, asking that the complaint be dismissed. According to information now on file, the respondents have agreed to the territory trades.
TODAY, shall the Commission dismiss this complaint based on the resolution reached by the parties?
2. EL97-013 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY ARNOLD MURRAY CONSTRUCTION, SIOUX FALLS, SD, AGAINST NORTHERN STATES POWER COMPANY REGARDING TRANSFERRING UNPAID BALANCES TO ITS ACCOUNT. (Consumer Representative: Leni Healy. Legal Intern: Tricia Zimmer.)
On July 9, 1997, the Commission received a complaint from Arnold Murray Construction, Sioux Falls, (Complainant) against Northern State Power Company (Respondent) regarding transferring unpaid balances to its account. The complaint states: "NSP is transferring final bills from one meter that's inactive to active meters. They do not give addresses, usage, etc. We did not agree to this. As a property manager who fee manages, it is very confusing since we work with different owners. We have found other owners and/or tenant bills on ours. NSP in Sioux Falls agrees with us that this should not happen. NSP in Minneapolis doesn't want to discuss this...." "Order them to stop this practice. I didn't give them consent to do this and it is too confusing."
TODAY, does the Commission find probable cause of an unlawful or unreasonable act, rate, practice or omission to go forward with this complaint and serve it upon the Respondent?
3. EL97-015 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY BON HOMME-YANKTON ELECTRIC ASSOCIATION, INC. AND TURNER-HUTCHINSON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. FOR APPROVAL OF ASSIGNMENT OF ELECTRIC SERVICE. (Staff Engineer: Martin Bettmann. Legal Intern: Tricia Zimmer.)
On July 21, 1997, the Commission received a filing from Bon Homme-Yankton Electric Association, Inc. (Bon-Homme) and Turner-Hutchinson Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Turner-Hutchinson) for assignment of electric service. The companies received a request for electric service from Mr. Lydell Thomas of Menno, SD. His request for service is approximately 700 feet into Yankton County. That location is Bon- Homme service territory. The companies have filed an "Exception To Service On Assigned Areas" which is signed by both Bon-Homme and Turner-Hutchinson.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant the assignment of electric service?Telecommunications
1. TC96-055 IN THE MATTER OF THE REQUEST BY AT&T OF THE MIDWEST, INC. TO REQUIRE THE FILINGS OF INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENTS. (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
TC96-064 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY MCI TELECOMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION REGARDING U S WEST INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENTS. (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On March 18, 1996, the Public Utilities Commission (Commission) received a filing from AT&T of the Midwest, Inc. (AT&T) asking the Commission to require the filing, within one week, of all existing interconnection agreements between local exchange carriers, such as U S WEST, and other carriers including traditional local exchange carriers and alternate local exchange or exchange access providers. Petitions to Intervene were received from South Dakota Independent Telephone Coalition (SDITC); Sprint Communications Company L.P. (Sprint); and U S WEST Communications, Inc. (U S WEST).
On April 15, 1996, the Commission received a filing from MCI Telecommunications Corporation (MCI) which stated, "On March 26, 1996, Michael Beach, vice president - local markets, MCI Telecommunications Corporation, sent [a] letter to Sol Trujillo, president and CEO, U S WEST Communications, Inc., requesting 'copies of existing agreements with all other local exchange carriers -- including agreements with incumbent LECs (such as EAS agreements) as well as with new entrants -- plus agreements entered into before February 8, 1996, consistent with Section 252(a)(1)' of the Federal Telecommunications Act. That subsection and Section 252(e)(1) require that all such agreements, 'including any interconnection agreement negotiated before the date of enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996,' must be submitted to your state commission for approval. To date, MCI has not received copies of these agreements from U S WEST. To the best of our knowledge, these documents have not been submitted to other new entrants who have requested them or to your commission. Therefore, we ask that within 10 days of receipt of this letter the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission enforce the legal requirement under the Act and order U S WEST to file all such agreements with you and submit these agreements to all those, including MCI, who have requested negotiations under Section 252(a)(1). We also request that your commission direct U S WEST to submit these agreements to you and the parties within an additional 10 days." No parties or entities filed to intervene.
On June 6, 1996, the Commission ordered that dockets TC96-055 and TC96-054 be consolidated and issued a procedural schedule. All briefs were due by July 16, 1996. The Commission deferred action until the Eighth Circuit issued its ruling on the FCC's rule concerning this issue. That decision was issued July 18, 1997.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant AT&T's and MCI's petitions?
On February 20, 1997, U S WEST Communications, Inc. (USWC) filed to place the portion of the Centrex 21 Analog Station Line in its Exchange and Network Services Tariff. Centrex 21 is an offering targeted to small and medium sized businesses which incorporates value added voice features and functions in a standard package. USWC intends to implement this service on March 19, 1997. On March 3, 1997, the Commission received cost information. No parties have filed to intervene or comment.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the revised Exchange And Network Services Tariff?
3. TC97-053 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY DAKOTA COOPERATIVE TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND WESTERN WIRELESS CORPORATION FOR APPROVAL OF THEIR WIRELESS INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENT. (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On May 12, 1997, Western Wireless Corporation and Dakota Cooperative Telecommunications, Inc. submitted copies of the contract entered into between the parties for a wireless interconnection agreement. Any person wishing to comment on the parties' request for approval had until June 4, 1997, to do so. Parties to the agreement had until June 23, 1997, to file written responses to the comments.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the interconnection agreement?
On July 11, 1997, West River Telecommunications Cooperative, Hazen, ND (WRTC), filed cost study revenue requirements that are included in the Local Exchange Carrier Association switched access rate filing. WRTC requests that the Commission allow the use of GVNW's cost study model as opposed to the Commission model for revenue requirement and rate development. On July 11, 1997, U S WEST Communications, Inc filed a Petition For Leave To Intervene.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant intervention to U S WEST? And, shall the Commission assess a filing fee?
5. IN THE MATTER OF THE DETERMINATION OF WHETHER THE COMMISSION SHALL SUBMIT A COST STUDY TO THE FCC AS THE BASIS FOR CALCULATING FEDERAL UNIVERSAL SERVICE SUPPORT. (General Counsel: Rolayne Wiest.)
In the FCC's order on universal service, it stated that a state commission may submit a forward-looking economic cost study to determine federal universal service support for its state. The FCC adopted criteria to determine federal universal service support to guide a state commission in the event it decides to conduct a cost study. A state commission must decide by August 15, 1997, whether to conduct own cost study. The FCC further provided that a state commission that elects to conduct such a study must file the study with the FCC by February 6, 1998.
Today, shall the Commission elect to conduct own cost study to submit to the FCC as the basis for calculating federal universal service support?
- July 19-23, 1997, the Commissioners will be attending the NARUC meeting in San Francisco, CA.
- A hearing in Docket TC97-006 is scheduled for July 28, 1997, at 1:00 p.m. in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
- A hearing in Docket TC97-105 is scheduled for July 29, 1997, at 9:00 a.m. in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
- A hearing in Docket TC97-030 is scheduled for July 30, 1997, at 9:00 a.m. in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
- A hearing in Docket TC97-028 is scheduled for August 1, 1997, at 1:00 p.m. in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
- The Consumer Symposium will NOT be held August 11-12, 1997. A new date has not been confirmed.
- A rules hearing in Docket RM97-002 is scheduled for August 13, 1997, at 1:00 p.m. in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
- A hearing in Docket TC97-062 is scheduled for August 26, 1997, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
- August 26, 1997 through September 1, 1997, the Commission's Consumer Outreach Booth will be at the South Dakota State Fair.
- A hearing in Docket TC97-107 is scheduled for September 10-12, 1997, at 9:00 a.m. in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
- The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held Monday, August 11, 1997, at 2:00 p.m. in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
July 22, 1997