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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Wednesday, February 17, 1999; 3:00 P.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 468
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 February 16, 1999. Please keep in mind that a limited number of telephone lines are available. Every effort should be made for parties in the same city to be on the same line when calling in.
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 January 26, and January 29, 1999. (Staff: Shirleen Fugitt.)
1. Status Report On Consumer Utility Inquiries And Complaints Recently Received By The Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Leni Healy.)
The Commission has received 231 consumer contacts during 1999. 150 contacts have been received since the January 26, 1999, Commission meeting.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: 117 contacts involved telecommunications issues. 21 contacts involved the unauthorized switching of long distance service; 18 contacts reported poor service; 10 contacts involved billing problems; 9 contacts concerned extra charges; 8 contacts concerned telemarketers; 7 contacts concerned the unauthorized billing for services; 5 contacts concerned assessment of higher rates than promised; 4 contacts involved double billing; 4 contacts had problems with repairs; 3 contacts involved high rates; 3 contacts involved installation problems; 3 contacts concerned switching difficulties; 3 contacts involved pay phones; 3 contacts involved prepaid phone cards; 3 contacts concerned random billing rates; 2 contacts concerned disconnections; and the remaining issues concerned above ground cable, blocking, Caller ID, cellular service, city sales tax, damage, EAS, PIC freeze, denial of service and toll blocking.
ELECTRICITY: 22 contacts involved electricity issues. 12 contacts involved disconnections; 4 contacts involved extra charges; 3 contacts involved high bills; 2 contacts concerned rates; and the remaining issues concerned billing and payment arrangements.
NATURAL GAS: 11 contacts involved natural gas issues. 7 contacts concerned a rate increase request; 2 contacts concerned disconnections; and 2 contacts concerned billing format changes.
A total of 98 complaints have been resolved informally during 1999.
2. TC98-189 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY SUZANNE HANSON, MCCOOK LAKE, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST COMMCHOICE, LLC REGARDING POOR QUALITY OF SERVICE AND A REQUEST TO BE SERVED BY U S WEST. (Consumer Representative: Leni Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On October 19, 1998, the Commission received a complaint by Suzanne Hanson against CommChoice, LLC. The Complainant claims that confusion and poor service have lead her to file a complaint. The Complainant seeks the following relief: "We would like the approval of the PUC to allow U S WEST to bring service into the Deer Run Subdivision in McCook Lake, SD. Due to the nature of our businesses (general sales) it is imperative we have a dependable, quality oriented telephone service."
TODAY, if the matter is resolved, shall the Commission close the docket?
1. EL99-002 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY BIG STONE CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA AND WHETSTONE VALLEY ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. FOR APPROVAL OF ELECTRICAL SERVICE AREA BOUNDARIES. (Staff Engineer: Martin Bettmann. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On January 25, 1999, Big Stone City, South Dakota and Whetstone Valley Electric Cooperative, Milbank, South Dakota, filed for approval by the Commission a Boundary Agreement in which the parties have come to a mutual agreement relative to the south boundary dividing the electric utility customers for Big Stone City and Whetstone Valley.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed service area boundaries
1. NG98-012 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF MONTANA-DAKOTA UTILITIES CO. FOR APPROVAL OF REVISIONS TO ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, RATE 64. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On December 7, 1998, the Commission received an application by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for approval of Revisions to Rate 64 reflecting a new agreement executed November 30, 1998. Ellsworth Air Force base has installed a propane-air peaking system and is converting their firm natural gas service requirements to interruptible service. The revised tariff will reflect the new service agreement rates and conditions.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the application?
1. TC98-198 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF CTC CORP. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Kylie Tracy. Staff Attorney: Camron Hoseck.)
On November 13, 1998, the Commission received an application from CTC Communications Corp. for a certificate of authority to provide resold interexchange telecommunications services throughout South Dakota. The services to be provided include MTS, WATS, and 800 inbound service. Services will also include calling card and directory assistance services to presubscribed customers.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to CTC Corp.?
2. TC98-202 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. FOR APPROVAL OF AGREEMENT FOR SERVICE RESALE BETWEEN PREFERRED CARRIER SERVICES, INC. AND U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (Staff Attorney: Camron Hoseck.)
On November 16, 1998, the Commission received an interconnection agreement between U S WEST Communications, Inc. and Preferred Carrier Services, Inc. Any person wishing to comment on the parties' request for approval may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the agreement no later than December 11, 1998. Parties to the agreement may file written responses to the comments no later than January 4, 1999.
TODAY, staff has an update. And, how shall the Commission proceed?
3. TC98-204 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. FOR APPROVAL OF WIRELESS INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENT BETWEEN U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND BROOKINGS MUNICIPAL UTILITIES TELEPHONE DEPARTMENT D.B.A. SWIFTEL COMMUNICATIONS. (Staff Attorney: Camron Hoseck.)
On November 19, 1998, the Commission received a wireless interconnection agreement between U S WEST Communications, Inc. and Brookings Municipal Utilities Telephone Department d.b.a. Swiftel Communications. Any person wishing to comment on the parties' request for approval may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the agreement no later than December 14, 1998. Parties to the agreement may file written responses to the comments no later than January 7, 1999.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the interconnection agreement?
4. TC98-213 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. FOR APPROVAL OF AN INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENT BETWEEN MIDCO COMMUNICATIONS, INC. D.B.A. MIDCONTINENT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (Staff Attorney: Camron Hoseck.)
On December 23, 1998, the Commission received an interconnection agreement between Midco Communications, Inc. D.B.A. Midcontinent Communications, Inc. and U S WEST Communications, Inc. On January 27, 1999, the Commission received an uncontested motion to withdraw the request.
TODAY, shall the Commission close the docket?
5. TC99-006 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF ONESTAR LONG DISTANCE, INC. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best. Staff Attorney: Camron Hoseck.)
On January 19, 1999, the Commission received a request for a Certificate of Authority from OneStar Long Distance, Inc. OneStar Long Distance, Inc. is a reseller which intends to offer 1+ and 101XXXX direct outbound dialing, 800/888 Toll-Free inbound dialing, travel card and prepaid calling card services through the resale of telephone services provided by facilities-based interexchange carriers.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to OneStar Long Distance, Inc.?
Commission staff was asked to investigate the status of the regulated utilities in South Dakota and report on the utilities' efforts towards mitigating the potential problems posed by the Y2K computer problem.
TODAY, staff has an update. And, how shall the Commission proceed?
1. Commissioners and staff will be attending a FERC meeting in St. Louis on February 11, 1999.
2. The Commission offices will be closed on Monday February 15, 1999, in observance of President's Day.
3. A hearing in docket GD99-001 (Britton Durum Grain Dealer) is scheduled for February 17, 1999, at 1:30pm, in Aberdeen, SD, at the Brown County Courthouse, Community Room.
4. Commissioners and Staff will be attending NARUC meetings in Washington DC, on February 21-24, 1999.
5. A hearing in docket TC99-005 (Union Sale of Stock) is scheduled for March 10, 1999, at 1:30pm, in Hartford, SD, 108 N Main Ave.
6. A hearing in Docket TC98-187 (USWC catalog updates) is scheduled for March 16, 1999, at 9:00am in Room 412 of the State Capitol.
7. A hearing in Docket TC98-194 (Basec.Net) is scheduled for March 31-April 1, 1999, at 8:30am in Room 412 of the State Capitol, Pierre, SD.
8. Commissioner Burg will be attending a GRI meeting on April 6, 1999.
9. A hearing in docket TC98-148 (Sioux Falls Cable) is scheduled for April 8-9, 1999, at 9:00am, in Room 412 of the State Capitol, Pierre, SD.
10. Commissioners and staff will be attending the ROC meeting in Phoenix on April 11-13, 1999.
11. Hearings in dockets TC98-192 and TC98-196 (McLeod complaints) are scheduled for April 15, 1999, at 9:00 a.m., in Rapid City, SD, at the School Administration Building.
12. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held Tuesday, March 9, 1999, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
Sue Cichos, Deputy Executive Director
February 10, 1999