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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Thursday, March 22, 2001; 1:30 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 March 21, 2001.
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 March 2 and 6, 2001. (Staff: Mary Giddings.)
1. Status Report On Consumer Utility Inquiries And Complaints Recently Received By The Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Leni Healy.)
The Commission has received 925 consumer contacts during 2001. 233 of the complaints were received since the March 6, 2001, meeting.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: 163 of the contacts involved telecommunications. 43 of the contacts concerned unauthorized switching of service; 22 contacts involved delayed switch; 15 contacts concerned billing issues; 14 of the contacts concerned unauthorized billing for services; 11 contacts involved poor service; 8 contacts involved raising rates without notice and the remaining issues were Caller ID, cellular service, collect calls, disconnections, extended area service, won't cancel, fees, internet charges, harassing calls, lifeline, outage, pay phones, rates, telemarketers, prepaid cards and quality of service.
ELECTRICITY: 13 of the contacts involved electricity issues. 4 contacts involved disconnections; and the remaining issues were energy assistance, solar heating, billing, deposits, and late fees.
NATURAL GAS: 57 contacts involving natural gas were reported. 42 of the contacts concerned high gas prices; 5 contacts concerned disconnections; and the remaining issues were billing, discrimination, payment plans, and bad meters.
741 complaints have been resolved informally during 2001.
1. EL00-029 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF XCEL ENERGY, INC. FOR APPROVAL TO EXTEND EXPECTED MERGER BENEFITS TO ITS SOUTH DAKOTA SERVICE TERRITORY AND CUSTOMERS. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On September 19, 2000, an application by Xcel Energy, Inc. for approval of a memorandum of understanding which would provide benefits to its customers and service territory was filed with the Commission. Excel Energy, Inc. proposes to provide an additional contribution to its annual economic development investment within its service territory for a limited time and also agrees to a conditional rate moratorium until May 1, 2004. The agreement is being offered to provide rate payers expected benefits of the recent merger between Northern States Power Company and New Century Energies Company.
TODAY, Staff has an update. AND, how shall the Commission proceed?
2. EL00-033 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION OF XCEL ENERGY, INC. FOR A STATEMENT TO THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION REGARDING INVESTMENT IN FOREIGN UTILITIES. (Staff Analyst: David Jacobson. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
On November 15, 2000, Xcel Energy, Inc. filed a petition for the Commission to certify to the SEC that: (1) the SDPUC has the authority and resources to protect the rate payers subject to its jurisdiction; (2) the SDPUC intends to exercise its authority; and (3) the SDPUC does not object to the SEC's granting of authority to Xcel Energy Inc. to invest in exempt wholesale generators (EWGs) and foreign utility corporate organizations (FUCOs) in an amount up to 100% of its consolidated retained earnings.
TODAY, shall the Commission provide the Statement to the Securities and Exchange Commission?
On October 6, 2000, a Resale Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation (Qwest) and Flatel, Inc., was filed with the Commission. The agreement is a negotiated agreement which sets forth the terms, conditions and prices under which Qwest will provide the Unbundled Network Element Platform and/or services for resale to Flatel for the provision of local exchange services. Parties had until October 26, 2000, to file comments.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Interconnection Agreement?
2. TC01-004 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF SNIP LINK, LLC FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE INTEREXCHANGE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Keith Senger. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
On January 11, 2001, SNiP Link, LLC filed for a Certificate of Authority seeking to provide interexchange telecommunication services in South Dakota. Initially the applicant intends to offer basic 1+ long distance services, WATS, calling card services and Toll-Free services through resale.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to SNiP Link, LLC?
3. TC01-005 IN THE MATTER OF THE REQUEST FOR DECERTIFICATION OF LDM SYSTEMS, INC. AS AN INTRASTATE, INTEREXCHANGE CARRIER AND FOR ASSIGNMENT OF ITS CLEC AUTHORIZATION TO ITS PARENT COMPANY, RSL COM U.S.A., INC. (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer. Staff Analyst: Harlan Best.)
On January 11, 2001, RSL COM U.S.A., Inc., the parent company of LDM Systems, Inc., requested to withdraw the interexchange Certificate of Authority granted to LDM Systems, Inc. in TC95-121 and to transfer the local Certificate of Authority granted to LDM Systems, Inc. in TC97-038 to itself. LDM Systems, Inc. will cease providing interexchange telecommunications services in the state, and the LDM Systems, Inc. current customers will continue to be served by RSL COM U.S.A., Inc. under the same rates and pursuant to the same terms and conditions of service. LDM Systems, Inc. does not have any local exchange customers in the state. On March 9, 2001, the Commission received a letter requesting withdrawal of the filing.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the withdrawal of the filing?
4. TC01-015 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING FOR APPROVAL OF THIRD AND FOURTH AMENDMENTS TO AN INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENT BETWEEN QWEST CORPORATION AND IONEX COMMUNICATIONS NORTH, INC. (Staff Attorney: Kelly D. Frazier.)
On February 20, 2001, Amendments numbered three and four to the interconnection agreement between Qwest Corporation (Qwest) and Ionex Communications North, Inc. (Ionex) were filed with the Commission for approval. According to the parties the Third Amendment is made in order to replace the Interim Line Sharing as set forth in Attachment 1 to the amendment. The Fourth Amendment reduces the intervals for (a) physical collocation (both caged and cageless) to forty-five (45) days, and (b) collocation augments to thirty (30) days based on certain terms and conditions set forth in the amendment. Parties had until March 12, 2001, to file comments.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the amendments to the Interconnection Agreements?
On February 22, 2001, Kadoka Telephone Company filed to change Switched Access Tariff rates effective April 1, 2001. In accordance with ARSD 20:10:27:12, the switched access rates are the average of all cost companies in South Dakota excluding Qwest Corporation.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed tariff rates?
1. IN THE MATTER OF COMMISSION INVOLVEMENT IN WILLISTON BASIN INTERSTATE PIPELINE'S CURRENT RATE CASE RP00-107 BEFORE THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson.)
On December 1, 1999, Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Company filed for a $13.4 million rate increase before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). The Commission approved involvement in this case in December, 1999, and subsequently intervened and protested Williston's filing in partnership with the Montana Consumer Counsel (State Agencies). On June 7, 2000, the State Agencies filed testimony in this case. A hearing in this case before a FERC administrative law judge (ALJ) began on November 29, 2000, and concluded December 20, 2000. On February 28, 2001, the State Agencies filed reply briefs before the ALJ. A decision can be expected in the near future at which time further action will be considered. Also, other issues in pending appeals may need to be addressed. In past cases, the Montana Consumer Counsel and the Montana Public Service Commission have offered to share in the cost of these proceedings.
TODAY, shall the Commission go forward with its participation in the analysis of WBI's current rate proceeding by providing funding for consultants?
1. Hearings in Dockets CT01-004 (Mack/Talk.com); CT01-005 (Ourada/WorldCom); CT01-006 (Donahoe/WorldCom), will be held on March 22, 2001, beginning at 8:30am in Room 412.
2. The Commission's Consumer Outreach Booth will be at the Black Hills Home Show, March 29-April 1, 2001.
3. The meeting on April 5 has been cancelled.
4. A Commission meeting (1:30p) and hearings (8:30a) are being scheduled for April 17, 2001, in Room 412 of the State Capitol.
5. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held April 17, 2001, at 1:30pm, in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
Deputy Executive Director
March 15, 2001