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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 23, 2010, at 2:30 P.M. CST
Room 413, Capitol Building
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. CST on Monday February 22, 2010.  Lines are limited and are given out on a first come, first served basis, subject to possible reassignment to accommodate persons who must appear in a proceeding. Ultimately, if you wish to participate in the Commission Meeting and a line is not available you may have to appear in person.  

NOTE:  To listen to the Commission Meeting live please go to the PUC's Web site www.puc.sd.gov and click on the LIVE link on the home page. The Commission requests that persons who will only be listening to proceedings and not actively appearing in a case listen via the web cast to free phone lines for those who have to appear.  The Commission meetings are archived on the PUC's Web site under the Commission Actions tab and then click on the LISTEN link on the page.

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 COMMISSION MEETING

Consumer Reports

1.      Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission.  (Consumer Affairs:  Deb Gregg)

Electric

1.      EL09-022        In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of its Energy Efficiency Partnership Plan for 2010. (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On October 26, 2009, an application by Otter Tail Power Company to update the Commission on its 2009 Energy Efficiency Program and to request approval of its 2010 portfolio was filed. The filing is also requesting budget and financial incentive modifications.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant Otter Tail Power's request for approval of its 2010 portfolio? And, shall the Commission grant any or all of Otter Tail Power's requests for budget and financial incentive modifications as requested in its October 26, 2009, filing?

2.      EL10-001        In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. for Approval of its Electric Cost Adjustment. (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle, Dave Jacobson, Terri LaBrie Baker, Jon Thurber, Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On January 27, 2010, Black Hills Power, Inc. filed for Commission approval of an increase to its Electric Cost Adjustment (ECA) to be effective on or after March 1, 2010. The ECA consists of a Conditional Energy Cost Adjustment, Transmission Cost Adjustment and Steam Plant Fuel Cost Adjustment. The net of these three adjustments result in an approximate $ 2,114,000 increase from the current ECA and will affect approximately 63,500 retail customers in South Dakota.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant intervention to any party that has applied? And shall the Commission approve the Electric Cost Adjustment?

Telecommunications

1.      TC08-135           In the Matter of the Complaint filed by OrbitCom, Inc. against Verizon Business Network Services, Inc. Regarding Unpaid Access Charges. (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On November 25, 2008, OrbitCom filed a complaint seeking recovery on an account because of the failure of Verizon to pay OrbitCom the amounts invoiced pursuant to its state tariff for the provisioning of telephone access services. On June 1, 2009, the parties filed a proposed procedural schedule. The Commission approved the proposed procedural schedule at its June 9, 2009, meeting. On August 20, 2009, Verizon filed a Motion to Compel, a Motion to Reset Hearing Dates, and a Request to Supplement its Prefiled Direct Testimony. A Corrected Motion to Compel and Motion to Reset Hearing Dates was filed on August 21, 2009. On September 15, 2009, the Commission issued its Order Granting Motion to Compel In Part; Order Approving Resetting Hearing Dates and Order Granting Filing of Supplemental Testimony. On September 10, 2009, OrbitCom filed a Motion for Hearing Date. On September 24, 2009, OrbitCom filed a letter advising the Commission of the parties' stipulation regarding the schedule for filing of pre-filed testimony. On October 8, 2009, the Commission issued its Order for and Notice of Hearing. On October 22, 2009, a hearing was held as scheduled in the order. On November 11, 2009, OrbitCom filed a letter advising the Commission of the briefing schedule stipulated by the parties. On December 4, 2009, initial post-hearing briefs were filed by Verizon and OrbitCom. On January 8 and January 11, 2010, reply briefs were filed by Verizon and OrbitCom, respectively. On February 4, 2010, the Commission received Verizon's Motion to Strike, or in the Alternative, a Motion for Leave to File Sur-Reply Brief. On February 16, 2010, the Commission received OrbitCom's Response to Verizon's Motion. On February 18, 2010, the Commission heard the Motion to Strike, or in the Alternative, for Leave to File Sur-Reply Brief.

         TODAY, what is the Commission's decision?

2.      TC09-098           In the Matter of the Complaint filed by South Dakota Network, LLC against Sprint Communications Company L.P. Regarding Failure to Pay Intrastate Centralized Equal Access Charges and to Immediately Pay Undisputed Portions of SDN's Invoices. (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On October 29, 2009, South Dakota Network LLC (SDN) filed its complaint against Sprint Communications LLC (Sprint) for 1) failing to pay intrastate centralized equal access charges at the rates approved by the SDPUC, 2) failing to immediately pay undisputed portions of SDN's invoices as required by SDN's Tariff, and 3) for payment by Sprint of SDN's costs of action, reasonable attorneys fees incurred by SDN, and for twice the amount of damages sustained by SDN, if SDN is required to recover its damages by suit or on appeal. On November 24, 2009, Sprint filed a Motion to Dismiss Count III, a Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss Count III, an Answer, Affirmative Defenses, And Counterclaims and a Third Party Complaint. On December 14, 2009, SDN replied to the Counterclaim of Sprint. On December 23, 2009, SDN filed a Corrected reply to Sprint's Counterclaim. On January 22, 2010, Sancom, Northern Valley Communication LLC and Splitrock Properties, Inc, filed answers to Sprint's Third Party Complaint. On February 11, 2010, Sprint filed a Motion to Dismiss Northern Valley's Cross Claim, a Memorandum in Support of Sprint's Motion to Dismiss Northern Valley's Cross Claim, A Motion to Dismiss Sancom's Cross Claim and a Memorandum in Support of Sprint's Motion to Dismiss Sancom's Cross Claim. On February 12, 2010, Sprint filed a corrected Memorandum in Support of Sprint's Motion to Dismiss Northern Valley's Cross Claim and a corrected Memorandum in Support of Sprint's Motion to Dismiss Sancom's Cross Claim.

         TODAY, Shall the Commission grant Sprint's Motion to Dismiss Count III? OR how shall the Commission Proceed?

3.      TC10-003           In the Matter of the Application of Broadview Networks Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On January 13, 2010, Broadview Networks, Inc. (Broadview) filed an application for a certificate of authority to provide competitive local exchange services on a facilities-based, UNE-based and/or resold basis and interexchange telecommunications services within the State of South Dakota. Broadview requests authorization to provide service throughout South Dakota, although the Company will initially offer services in areas currently served by Qwest. Before offering service in any small incumbent Local Exchange Carrier exchange area (an area served by an ILEC with less than 10,000 access lines), Broadview will seek to negotiate an interconnection agreement. At that time, the small ILEC may assert rural telephone status under Section 251 (f) of the Telecommunications Act. The Commission then may determine whether the assertion is correct, and if so, whether and under what terms and conditions interconnection would be provided. On January 28, 2010, South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA) filed a Petition to Intervene. On February 4, 2010, Broadview filed its Request for Waiver of ARSD Sections 20:10:24:02(9) and 20:10:32:03(12) in connection with the Company's pending Application for Certificate of Authority for Local Exchange and Interexchange Services. On February 4, 2010, SDTA notified Staff that it was no longer pursuing intervention.

             TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Certificate Of Authority and Waivers of ARSD 20:10:24:02(9) and 20:10:32:03(12)?

4.      TC10-004           In the Matter of the Application of Enventis Telecom, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Telecommunications Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On January 15, 2010, Enventis Telecom, Inc applied for a certificate of authority to provide local exchange services through a combination of leased and resold arrangements. Enventis Telecom, Inc. currently has a certificate of authority to provide long distance service in South Dakota and now seeks authority to provide local services to business customers in Qwest exchanges only.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Certificate Of Authority?

5.      TC10-014           In the Matter of the Investigation of Pricing Regulation for Switched Access Services Provided by Competitive Local Exchange Carriers. (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On January 5, 2010, Chairman Johnson requested the Commission to open a docket, pursuant to SDCL 49-31-4.1, to consider whether pricing regulation is appropriate for switched access services provided by competitive local exchange companies. SDCL 49-31-4.1 provides that if an investigation conducted by the Commission "indicates that pricing regulation is appropriate for any noncompetitive service because such regulation has a positive impact on universal service and is more reasonable and fair than rate of return regulation, the commission may adopt pricing regulation for any such noncompetitive service." The Commission unanimously voted to open the docket. Any interested person may file a petition to intervene on or before February 8, 2010. Parties shall file initial testimony on or before March 9, 2010. Reply testimony shall be filed on or before March 30, 2010. The hearing date shall be set in a subsequent order. On February 5, 2010, a Petition to Intervene of Verizon and Midcontinent Communications was filed and Northern Valley Communications filed a Petition for Leave to Intervene. On February 8, 2010, a Petition to Intervene of AT & T, SSTELECOM Inc, Sancom, Inc, SDTA, Sprint, R C Communications, Inc, and Midstate Telecom, Inc was filed. Qwest filed a Petition for Leave to Intervene on February 8, 2010.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant intervention to any parties that have filed?

Items for Commission Discussion

Announcements

1.   An ad-hoc commission meeting will be held February 18, 2010, at 2:30 p.m. (CST) in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

2.  A public input hearing in Docket EL09-028 will be held March 1, 2010, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (CST) at the American Legion, Main Street, White Lake, S.D.

3.   Commissioners will meet with representatives of Xcel Energy on March 5, 2010, at 11:30 a.m. at the Xcel Office, 500 W. Russell St., Sioux Falls, S.D., to discuss company updates.

4.   Commissioners and staff will attend the Sioux Empire Home Show held March 5-7, 2010, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, Sioux Falls, S.D., to meet with consumers, distribute information and answer questions.

5.   A hearing in Dockets TC10-005 through TC10-013 will be held March 9, 2010, beginning at 2:00 p.m. (CST), in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

6.   The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held March 9, 2010, at 2:30 p.m. (CST) in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

7.   Commission meetings are scheduled for March 23, 2010, and April 6, 2010.

8.   Commissioners and staff will attend the Black Hills Home Builders Association Home Show held March 26-28, 2010, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, S.D., to meet with consumers, distribute information and answer questions.

  /S/ Cindy Kemnitz                       .
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us  
February 17, 2010