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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Tuesday, October 23, 2001; 1:30 P.M.
South Dakota Capital Complex Visitor Center, Near Capital Lake (500 E Capitol)
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 October 22, 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 October 10 and 12, 2001. (Staff: Mary Giddings.)
1. Status Report On Consumer Utility Inquiries And Complaints Recently Received By The Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Mary Healy.)
The Commission has received 2,495 consumer contacts during 2001. 143 of the complaints were received since the October 10, 2001, meeting. So far the Commission has resolved 2348 informal consumer complaints.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: 106 of the contacts involved telecommunications. 21 contacts concerned billing issues; 6 concerned the unauthorized switch in telecommunication services; 8 concerned delayed service or delayed disconnect; 7 contacts involved telemarketers; 7 contacts involved disconnects; 3 concerned unauthorized billing; 9 contacts involved increased rates; 4 contacts involved cellular service, and some of the remaining contacts involved fees, deposits, poor service, construction cost, 900 numbers, unburied cables, and long distance providers.
ELECTRICITY: 20 of the contacts involved electricity issues. 9 of the contacts concerned disconnect; 3 concerned billing issues; 1 concerned rates; 1 concerned construction cost, 1 contact involved deposit refund and some of the remaining issues involved power outage, and construction cost.
NATURAL GAS: 9 of the contacts involved natural gas. 6 of the contacts concerned disconnect; 1 concerned a buried line; 1 contact involved not receiving a bill; and 1 concerned general information on a natural gas company.
2. IN THE MATTER OF DISMISSING COMPLAINT DOCKETS CT01-039, CT01-040, AND CT01-044.
CT01-039 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY DENISE HAERTER, SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST MIDCONTINENT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. AND QWEST CORPORATION REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED SWITCHING OF SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Charlene Lund. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
Complainant alleges that she had no instate or out of state long distance service between July 20, 2001, and August 27, 2001, because her service was switched without her consent. The complainant wants an answer to why this was done and which company is responsible. The complainant is seeking a letter of apology from the company responsible and a check for $1000.00 for the violation. A hearing was scheduled for October 10, 2001. The hearing was cancelled.
CT01-040 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY BERNIECE PRAVECEK, MITCHELL, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST DIRECT ONE COM.LONG DISTANCE REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED TELECOMMUNICATIONS CHARGES AND SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Charlene Lund. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
Complainant alleges that she was billed on her credit card for long distance services that were not authorized. Complainant believes that the company should be heavily fined and not be certified in the state of South Dakota.
CT01-044 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY SUZANNE DRAKE, SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST MCLEOD USA TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES, INC. REGARDING POOR QUALITY OF CUSTOMER SERVICE. (Staff Analyst: Charlene Lund. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
Complainant alleged that written notice was sent to McLeod for changes and the company response and resolution did not occur within 30 days. Complainant requests that the agreement/contract between both parties be terminated 30 days from date of written notification.
TODAY, if the above matters are resolved shall the Commission dismiss the complaints and close the dockets?
1. EL01-021 IN THE MATTER OF THE JOINT REQUEST FOR AN ELECTRIC SERVICE TERRITORY BOUNDARY CHANGE BETWEEN XCEL ENERGY AND SOUTHEASTERN ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On September 20, 2001, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Xcel Energy jointly requested the Commission grant an electric service territory boundary change. The boundary change is requested to allow each utility to provide electric service to the proposed Sunset Ridge Addition, Sioux Falls, SD, in a more efficient manner based on the layout of the streets and the lots. The Sunset Ridge Addition is located in the Northeast Quarter and the Southeast Quarter of Section 7, Township 100 North, Range 50 West.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed boundary change?
2. EL01-022 IN THE MATTER OF THE JOINT REQUEST FOR AN ELECTRIC SERVICE TERRITORY BOUNDARY CHANGE BETWEEN XCEL ENERGY AND SOUTHEASTERN ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC. (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On September 20, 2001, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Xcel Energy jointly requested the Commission grant an electric service territory boundary change. On July 2, 1999, in EL99-013, the Commission approved a territory boundary change for the Auburn Hills Addition. At the time a written description was not included with the map. This docket includes a written description to coincide with the map approved in EL99-013. In addition the two companies are requesting minor modifications to the existing electric service territory boundary. The Auburn Hills Addition is located in the Southwest Quarter of Section 16, Township 100 North, Range 50 West, in Lincoln County, South Dakota.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed boundary change?
On June 6, 2000, Commission Staff filed a Motion To Assess Fines and Statutory Penalties against OLS, Inc. The basis for this Motion is the number of complaints which have recently been filed against OLS, Inc. which are alleged to represent a continuing pattern of reckless disregard for South Dakota law and a disregard for the rights of South Dakota consumers. Staff moves the Commission to assess fines and penalties in accordance with SDCL 49-31-93, 49-31-94, impose other remedies and assess costs associated with processing the complaints. A hearing was scheduled and cancelled. On October 16, 2001, OLS filed a Settlement Agreement.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Settlement Agreement? AND, if so, close the docket?
A December 28, 1999, meeting, the Public Utilities Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to order OLS, Inc. (OLS) to provide the Commission with a list of all of its current South Dakota subscribers pursuant to SDCL 49-31-95. SDCL 49-31-95 provides that if the Commission receives more than two complaints within thirty days alleging unauthorized switching or billing of subscribers, the Commission may require the company complained against to provide the Commission with a complete list of its current subscribers, including the subscribers' billing addresses. Since September 1, 1999, the Commission has received 31 formal complaints and 536 informal complaints against OLS alleging the unauthorized switching or billing of subscribers. The Commission has ordered OLS to provide the list on or before February 8, 2000. The list was received on February 8, 2000.
TODAY, how shall the Commission proceed?
3. TC01-153 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF TALKNOW, INC. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE INTEREXCHANGE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Keith Senger. Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier.)
TalkNow, Inc. is seeking a Certificate of Authority to provide interexchange telecommunication services in South Dakota. The applicant is a reseller which intends to offer interexchange services, including 1+ and 101XXXX outbound dialing, Toll-Free inbound dialing, directory assistance, data services, and travel card services.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to TalkNow, Inc.?
4. IN THE MATTER OF THE FAILURE OF CERTAIN TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANIES TO TIMELY FILE THE GROSS RECEIPTS TAX. (Deputy Executive Director: Sue Cichos.)
The following companies have failed to timely file their gross receipts tax as required by SDCL 49-1A:
American Telecommunications Enterprise, Inc
Arrival Communications, Inc.
Cash Back Rebates LD.com f/k/a Common Concerns, Inc
CRG International, Inc. d/b/a Network One
Enhanced Communications Network Inc
erbia Netork, Inc
Internet Telephone Company
JATO Operating Two Corp
LDC Telecommunications Inc
NewPath Holdings, Inc
Ozark Telecom, Inc
Pam Oil Company dba PAM Communications
PNV.net f/k/a Park n View Inc
QAI, Inc dba Long Distance Billing
SouthNet TeleCom Services Inc
Special Accounts Billing Group Inc
Telera Communications Inc
Telscape USA Inc
Teltrust Communications Services Inc
Vee Em, Inc fka Speer Virtual Media Ltd
TODAY, shall the Commission issue an Order To Show Cause as to why the Commission should not fine, or suspend or revoke the Certificates Of Authority of each of these companies for failure to pay the requisite gross receipts tax?
1. A Wind Energy Conference will be held on October 29-30, 2001, at the Ramkota in Pierre, South Dakota.
2. On November 1, 2001, a hearing in GD01-002 (Agribiotech) will be held at the Ramkota in Watertown, South Dakota.
3. A hearing in CT99-002 and TC98-176 (Kieffer) will be held on November 6, 2001, at the Super 8 Motel in Sturgis, South Dakota.
4. Commissioners and staff will be attending the NARUC meeting in Philadelphia on November 9-15, 2001.
5. Commission Meetings and Hearings are being planned for November 27 and December 12, 2001.
6. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held November 8, 2001, at 1:30pm, in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
Deputy Executive Director
October 16, 2001