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PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING
February 10, 1998; 3:00 P.M.
State Capitol Building, Public Utilities Commission Cactus Conference Room
Pierre, South Dakota
NOTE: If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 3:00 p.m. on February 9, 1998.
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.
In its Petition for Order to Show Cause, filed December 12, 1997, Commission staff stated that by failing to provide adequate service, USWC could endanger the health, safety, and welfare of South Dakota citizens if those citizens cannot reach, for example, emergency numbers, doctors, hospitals, police and fire protection. Further, the inability of citizens and businesses to have telecommunications services timely installed and be otherwise reliable affects economic development and commerce and the welfare of the entire state of South Dakota. The convenience of the public can be and is negatively affected. The foregoing factors raise questions as to the competency, sufficiency and quality of management of USWC. The Commission considered this matter a January 20, 1998, regular meeting. On January 28, 1998, the Commission issued an Order to Show Cause and established March 4, 1998, as the date by which U S WEST must file prefiled testimony and March 18, 1998, as the date by which Staff must file its prefiled testimony. The Commission further ordered that a hearing be held in this matter on April 1-3, 1998. On January 29, 1998, Staff filed a motion asking the Commission to amend its Order to Show Cause. In its motion, Staff is asking for a correction of a typographical error and a language change that would allow Staff to call certain witnesses without those witnesses having to file prefiled testimony. On January 29, 1998, U S WEST filed a Motion for Discovery and Request for an Expedited Ruling. These matters were heard and taken under advisement at the February 3, 1998, Commission Meeting.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant Staff's motion to amend the Order to Show Cause? And, shall the Commission grant U S WEST's Motion for Discovery and Request for an Expedited Ruling?
2. TC98-016 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY KEITH GLANZER, CARPENTER, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. REGARDING UPDATING LINES. (Consumer Representative: Leni Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On January 30, 1998, the Commission received a complaint from Keith Glanzer, Carpenter, SD, against U S WEST Communications, Inc. The complainant states: "We purchased a computer for home and business use in August of 1997. At the same time we signed up for internet service for the information available and mail. Upon several attempts it was discovered that internet use was not possible over our phone line with U S WEST. U S WEST technicians checked our line and said it was fairly good considering our location. We also found out that a standard phone line does not have a guarantee data rate. On Oct. 28, 1997, we ordered an ISDN line which the U S WEST salesperson told us was available. After repeated calls U S WEST told us on Jan. 1, 1998, that no ISDN line could be provided to us. I am a Pioneer Seed Salesperson and during this time Pioneer has the sales staff migrated to laptop PCs with on line communication with Pioneer. After receiving training and the laptop it was discovered (after several days of customer support with Pioneer) that it was impossible to utilize this system due to our poor phone line. At this point in time U S WEST seems unwilling to upgrade the Slick 40 serving our area or improve the cable plant. Consequently our need for a good quality phone line seems impossible to achieve in U S WEST service area. I would ask the PUC that they would apply pressure to U S WEST to improve our phone line so that we might have acceptable levels of data transmission."
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 Respondent?Electricity
1. EL98-001 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF BLACK HILLS CORPORATION FOR AUTHORITY TO ISSUE A 3-FOR-2 STOCK SPLIT IN THE FORM OF A 1-FOR-2 STOCK DIVIDEND. (Staff Analyst: Bob Knadle. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On January 30, 1998, Black Hills Corporation filed with the Commission an application for a stock split. Black Hills is requesting approval of a 3-for-2 split of the Common Stock of the Company to be effected in the form of a 1-for-2 stock dividend. The Company further requests that the Commission's Order extend to the number of common shares previously approved for issuance and remaining to be issued pursuant to the Company's Dividend Reinvestment Plan, Employees' Stock Purchase Plan, and 1996 Stock Option Plan.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve Black Hills Corporation's filing?
William Bullard Jr.
February 9, 1998