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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Tuesday, April 1, 2003 at 9:30 A.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 31, 2003.
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 AD HOC Meeting Held on March 14, 2003, and the Commission Meeting Held on March 18, 2003. (Staff: Tina Douglas.)
1. Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Jim Mehlhaff.)
2. In The Matter Of Dismissing Dockets CT02-037, CT02-041, CT02-043 AND CT03-005
CT02-037 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Len Scherr on behalf of Sammy's Restaurant, Aberdeen, South Dakota, against McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, Inc. Regarding a Contract Dispute. (Staff Analyst: Jim Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Complainant's representative states that when he agreed to phone service from McLeodUSA (McLeod), he was not told that he was signing a term agreement and believed that he was authorizing McLeod to be Complainant's phone provider. Complainant did not receive a copy of the McLeod contract until August 27, 2002. Complainant's representative believes that the McLeod representative filled in the terms of the contract after the contract had been signed. On more than one occasion Complainant's representative states that Complainant's phone service did not work. Complainant's representative requests that Complainant be released from its McLeod service without penalty.
CT02-041 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Ann Eberhard on Behalf of Terrace Motel, Pierre, SD, against McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, Inc. Regarding Contract Dispute, Billing, Poor Customer Service, Failure to Block Long Distance and Other Features as Requested. (Staff Analyst: Jim Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Complainant's representative states that after signing a contract with McLeodUSA that the Motel experienced numerous problems in getting its blocks pertaining to long distance to work properly. Motel also had problems with correct billing and customer service.
CT02-043 In the Matter of a Complaint Filed by Guy and Linda Varud, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, against Qwest Communications, Inc. and McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, Inc. Regarding Wiring Problems. (Staff analyst: James Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier)
On October 17, 2002, the Commission received a complaint from Guy and Linda Varud (Complainants) of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, against Qwest Communications, Inc. (Qwest) and McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, Inc. (McLeodUSA). According to the complaint, the Complainants' phone will not operate after there is rain or moisture in the air. Complainants state that Qwest has alleged it is a problem with McLeodUSA wiring. McLeodUSA has alleged it is a problem with Qwest wiring. Complainants believe that the wiring problem is a result of substandard inside wiring, which should fall within the inside wiring protection they have paid McLeodUSA for. Complainants seek to have the company responsible pay for the line repair inspection bill, pay to have the wiring fixed and provide reasonable compensation to complainants for time spent seeking resolution of the problem. The complainants have requested that the complaint be dismissed without prejudice so they can consider their options and possibly re-file the complaint at a later date.
CT03-005 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Veronica Woodruff, Mitchell, South Dakota, against MCIWorldCom Regarding Unauthorized Switching of Services. (Staff analyst: James Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier)
Complainant alleges that the third party verification tape demonstrates that the party authorizing the change in service was not competent to make that decision. Therefore, the change of service is unauthorized. Complainant seeks to have all MCI usage and collection charges waived. The company has credited the complainant for all charges associated with the switch.
TODAY, if the above matters are resolved shall the Commission dismiss the complaints and close the dockets?
3. CT03-003 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Mark Van Den Hoek on behalf of Hard Drive Central, Mitchell, South Dakota, against Ionex Communications North, Inc. Regarding Quality of Service Issue. (Staff analyst: James Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier)
The Complainant alleges that Ionex failed to provide long distance service from August 16, 2002, through November 1, 2002. The complainant seeks to have the unpaid charges for local service waived as compensation for the hardship caused as a result of the long distance issue. The company has filed a Motion To Dismiss.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant Ionex's Motion To Dismiss?
1. EL03-005 In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company d/b/a Xcel Energy for Approval to Include Renewable Energy Development Fund Costs in the Electric Fuel Clause Adjustment. (Staff Analyst: David Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Petition by Xcel Energy for approval to include Renewable Development Fund costs in its electric Fuel Adjustment Clause. Xcel Energy operates the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant at Red Wing, Minnesota which uses "dry casks" to store spent fuel from the plant. In 1994, the Minnesota Legislature passed an Act which requires Xcel Energy to transfer $500,000 annually, for each cask, into a Renewable Development Fund. The Renewable Development Fund promotes the advancement of new renewable energy sources. Xcel's petition states that inclusion of these Fund payments in its fuel clause would be efficient and is consistent with the purpose of the Automatic Adjustment Clause Statute SDCL 49-34A-25.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve Xcel's petition to include Renewable Development Fund costs in its Fuel Adjustment Clause?
2. EL03-010 In the Matter of the Joint Request for an Electric Service Rights Exception between Xcel Energy and Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On March 6, 2003, Xcel Energy and Central Electric Cooperative filed a "Joint Request for an Electric Service Territory Boundary Modification." This agreement seeks an exception to the existing service territory near Artesian, SD. The area to be transferred from Central Electric to Xcel Energy is described as the telephone "pedestal" and its associated facilities located just east of 411th Avenue and on the south side of 233rd Street (SD Highway 34) approximately 3 miles west of Artesian, South Dakota, residing in the NW 1/4 of Section 12 of Union Township T106N R60W in Sanborn County, South Dakota, together with a line to connect with Xcel's system.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant the service rights exception?
Application by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for approval to increase rates for natural gas service in its Black Hills service territory by $2,173,380, or 5.8% based on a 2003 projected test year. The proposed increase for a residential customer would average about $2.50 per month. The proposed rates may potentially affect about 40,800 natural gas customers in the Black Hills area of South Dakota. By Order dated January 28, 2003, the Commission suspended MDU's proposed rates for 90 days beyond January 30, 2003.
TODAY, shall the Commission further suspend the imposition of the rates for an additional 60 days?
1. TC01-163 In the Matter of the Application of BAK Communications, LLC for a Certificate of Authority To Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris, Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier)
BAK Communications, LLC was issued a Certificate of Authority January 31, 2002, with restrictions from offering prepaid calling cards. In July of 2002, BAK Communications, LLC requested that the restrictions be removed from its Certificate of Authority. The company submitted a $25,000 surety bond in lieu of the restrictions. On February 26, 2003 the Commission received notice from Lumberman's Mutual Casualty Company would be canceling the bond of BAK Communications, LLC.
TODAY, shall the Commission amend the Certificate of Authority to include prepaid restrictions?
On May 31, 2002, 1-800-RECONEX, (Reconex) Inc. filed an Access Tariff with the Commission. Although Reconex is not yet providing service in the state of South Dakota, they currently provide service in other states via total service resale (TSR.) Reconex now intends to provide service through TSR and unbundled network element platform (UNE-P.)
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the switched access tariff for Reconex, And shall the Commission grant the exemption from developing company specific cost-based switched access rates?
3. In the Matter of Approving Amendments to Agreements in TC03-054 and TC03-055.
On February 28, 2003, the Commission received a Filing for Approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and TW Wireless, L.L.C. According to the parties, this filing is an amendment to the original agreement approved by the Commission on February 11, 2000, in Docket TC99-123. The Amendment is made in order to add terms and conditions for the Single Point of Presence in the LATA, as set forth in Attachment 1 and Exhibit A and for Inter Local Calling Area as set forth in Attachment 2, attached to the Amendment.
On March 3, 2003, the Commission received a Reciprocal Transport and Termination Agreement between Midcontinent Communications and Western Wireless for approval. According to the filing, the Agreement is made to put in place an arrangement for the mutual exchange and reciprocal compensation of local telecommunications traffic in accord with the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and is intended to supersede any previous arrangements between the parties relating to such traffic.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed Amendments?
1. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held April 15, 2003, at 9:30 a.m., in Room 412 of the Capitol Building.
2. A hearing in docket CE03-002 is scheduled for April 15, 2003, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 412 of the Capitol Building.
3. Commission meetings are scheduled for May 6, 2003, and May 20, 2003.
4. A hearing in docket NG02-011 is scheduled for May 8, 2003, at 9:00 a.m. in Room 412 of the Capitol Building.
Heather K. Forney
Deputy Executive Director
March 25, 2003