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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
April 6, 2010 at 9:30 A.M. CDT
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. CDT on Monday April 5, 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

Administration

  1. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on March 9, 2010. (Staff:  Demaris Axthelm)

Consumer Reports

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

Consumer Complaint

1.      CT05-006        In the Matter of the Complaint filed by South Dakota Network, LLC against Global Crossing Telecommunications, Inc. Regarding Access Charges. (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

            On July 18, 2005, South Dakota Network, LLC (SDN) filed a complaint against Global Crossing Telecommunications, Inc. (Global Crossing). SDN is seeking payment for unpaid intrastate centralized equal access services provided to Global Crossing. SDN requests that the Commission order Global Crossing to pay the intrastate centralized equal access invoice plus late payment penalties, to reimburse SDN's attorney's fees pursuant to SDCL 49-13-14.1, for pre-judgment interest and post-judgment interest on the unpaid balances, and to grant SDN such other and further relief that may be proper or equitable. On July 21, 2005, the Commission electronically transmitted notice of the filing and the intervention deadline of August 5, 2005, to interested individuals and entities. No petitions to intervene or comments were filed. On September 27, 2005, the Commission issued its Order Setting Procedural Schedule. On December 30, 2005, Complainant and Global filed a Joint Motion for Postponement of Procedural Schedule requesting that the outstanding events on the procedural schedule, including the hearing, be postponed until a scheduling stipulation can be reached or one of the parties moves the Commission to establish a procedural schedule. On January 6, 2006, the procedural schedule adopted by the Commission in its Order Setting Procedural Schedule of September 27, 2005, was cancelled. On March 24, 2010, the Joint Stipulation For Dismissal and Certificate of Service was filed.

         TODAY, shall the Commission dismiss the Complaint and close the docket?

2.      CN09-002       In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Mark Pyle/A Plus Towing and Repair, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, against MidAmerican Energy Company Regarding a Billing Dispute. (Staff Analyst: Deb Gregg, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On December 22, 2009, A Plus Towing of Sioux Falls, S.D., filed a complaint against MidAmerican Energy. A Plus Towing states they received a bill for over $7,500 from MidAmerican Energy due to a natural gas meter error. A Plus Towing asks the Commission to find MidAmerican Energy responsible for accurate meter readings and as a result not hold the consumer responsible for the entire amount of natural gas not properly billed. On January 11, 2010, MidAmerican filed an answer to the complaint. On February 24, 2010, a Supplemental Answer and Motion to Dismiss was filed by MidAmerican Energy.

         TODAY, shall the Commission dismiss the Complaint and close the docket?

3.      CN10-001       In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Jeff Danz/Zandbroz Variety, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, against MidAmerican Energy Company Regarding a Billing Dispute. (Staff Analyst: Deb Gregg, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On January 11, 2010, Zandbroz Variety of Sioux Falls, S.D., filed a complaint against MidAmerican Energy. Zandbroz Variety states they received a bill for $7,087.07 from MidAmerican Energy due to a natural gas meter error. Zandbroz Variety asks the Commission to find MidAmerican Energy responsible for accurate meter readings and as a result not hold the consumer responsible for the entire amount of natural gas not properly billed. On January 21, 2010, MidAmerican Energy Company filed an Answer to the complaint. On February 24, 2010, a Supplemental Answer and Motion to Dismiss was filed by MidAmerican Energy.

         TODAY, shall the Commission dismiss the Complaint and close the docket?

4.      CN10-002          In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Lois Deneui, Lennox, South Dakota, against MidAmerican Energy Company Regarding a Billing Dispute. (Staff Analysts: Deb Gregg, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On January 22, 2010, Lois DeNeui of Lennox, S.D., filed a complaint against MidAmerican Energy. Ms. DeNeui stated she received a bill for $1,335.04 from MidAmerican Energy due to a natural gas meter error. Ms. DeNeui asks the Commission to find MidAmerican Energy responsible for its own errors. On February 12, 2010, an Answer and Motion to Dismiss was filed by MidAmerican Energy.

         TODAY, shall the Commission dismiss the Complaint and close the docket?

Pipeline Safety

1.      PS09-002        In the Matter of the Petition of the Commission Pipeline Safety Program Manager for Declaratory Ruling Regarding whether a Pipeline Operator's Documented Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure can Exceed the Limits in SDCL 49-41B-2.1 Without a Siting Permit. (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem, Stacy Splittstoesser, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On April 20, 2009, the Commission Pipeline Safety Program Manager filed a request for a declaratory ruling as to whether the PUC siting statute, SDCL 49-41B-2.1, allows a pipe design and thus its MAOP to exceed 20% SMYS if it is operated under 20% SMYS. The Pipeline Safety Program Manager requests a Commission decision regarding whether a pipeline is permitted to maintain MAOP in excess of 20% SMYS when to increase pipeline pressure above 20% SMYS would violate SDCL 49-41B-2.1. Montana-Dakota Utilities filed a Petition for Intervention on May 5, 2009. NorthWestern Energy Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy filed a Petition for Intervention on May 8, 2009. Interventions were granted at the May 19, 2009, Commission meeting. At its June 9, 2009, meeting, the Commission granted party status to Commission Staff, extended the deadline for an additional 60 days, and ordered the parties to develop a procedural schedule. On August 4, 2009, the parties requested an additional 90 day extension.  At its August 11, 2009, meeting, the Commission granted a 90 day extension. On October 13, 2009, Staff filed a request for an additional extension. At its regularly scheduled meeting of October 20, 2009, the Commission granted an additional 90 extension.

         TODAY, shall the Commission dismiss the docket based on recent legislation signed by the Governor?

Telecommunications

1.        In the Matter of the Petition for Arbitration Pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to Resolve Issues Relating to an Interconnection Agreement in Dockets TC07-112, TC07-114, TC07-115, and TC07-116

         TC07-112        In the Matter of the Petition of McCook Cooperative Telephone Company for Arbitration Pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to Resolve Issues Relating to an Interconnection Agreement with Alltel Communications, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer) 

         TC07-114        In the Matter of the Petition of Kennebec Telephone Company for Arbitration Pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to Resolve Issues Relating to an Interconnection Agreement with Alltel Communications, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         TC07-115        In the Matter of the Petition of Santel Communications Cooperative, Inc. for Arbitration Pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to Resolve Issues Relating to an Interconnection Agreement with Alltel Communications, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         TC07-116        In the Matter of the Petition of West River Cooperative Telephone Company for Arbitration Pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to Resolve Issues Relating to an Interconnection Agreement with Alltel Communications, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On October 19, 2007, each of the parties above (Parties) filed a petition for arbitration of certain unresolved terms and conditions of a proposed Interconnection Agreement with Alltel Communications, Inc. (Alltel), pursuant to Section 252 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, SDCL 49-31-81, and ARSD 20:10:32:29. The Parties filed a list of unresolved issues and requested relief. In accordance with ARSD 20:10:32:30, a non-petitioning party may respond to the petition for arbitration and provide additional information within 25 days after the Commission receives the petition. On December 17, 2007, a Stipulation for Scheduling Order was filed. The Stipulation for Scheduling Order was approved at the January 29, 2008, commission meeting. On June 10, 2008, a Joint Stipulation for Amended Scheduling Order and Decision Date was filed. A hearing in these matters was held July 29- 31, 2008. The Commission issued their decision at its January 27, 2009, commission meeting. On March 30, 2009, Alltel filed a Brief and Petition for Reconsideration. On April 14, 2009, the Petitioners filed a Letter and Opposition to the Petition for Reconsideration. Alltel's Petition for Reconsideration was denied at the May 19, 2009, commission meeting. On June 9, 2009, Alltel filed a Brief and a Motion to Compel in Dockets TC07-112, TC07-114, TC07-115, and TC07-116. On June 12, 2009, the parties filed a Stipulation for Amended Scheduling Order in Dockets TC07-112, TC07-114, TC07-115, and TC07-116. The Stipulation for Amended Scheduling Order was approved at the June 23, 2009, commission meeting. On July 13, 2009, Petitioners' Response to Alltel's Motion to Compel was filed.  On July 28, 2009, Alltel's Motion to Submit Admitted Facts into the Record was filed. On July 31, 2009, Petitioners' Objection and Opposition to Alltel Communications, LLC's Motion to Submit Admitted Facts into the Record was filed. On August 20, 2009, Joint Stipulation for Proposed Amended Scheduling Order and Decision Date was filed. On September 18, 2009, Alltel's Motion to Reconsider Inclusion of Getting Started Costs and Non-Sensitive Switch Costs as Part of the Reciprocal Compensation Charges was filed. On October 9, 2009, Petitioners' Opposition to Alltel Communications, Inc.'s Petition for Reconsideration (Switching Costs) was filed. On November 3, 2009, Joint Stipulation for Proposed Amended Decision Date was filed. At its regularly scheduled meeting on January 5, 2010, the Commission Ordered that McCook shall make the revisions as set forth to its July 2009 FLEC study and incorporate the changes in the interconnection agreement; and that Alltel's Motion for Reconsideration is denied; and the parties shall submit the interconnection agreement for approval by the Commission in accordance with ARSD 20:10:32:33. On February 16, 2010, the Commission received an application for reconsideration of the January 15, 2010, second decision and Order, findings of fact, conclusions of law and notice of entry of order. Commission voted to defer action on the petition for reconsideration at its March 23, 2010, meeting.

         TODAY, Shall the Commission reconsider its decision? If so, what is the Commission's decision?

2.      TC09-096        In the Matter of the Filing by Ionex Communications North, Inc. for Approval of its Access Services Tariff. (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On October 16, 2009, Ionex Communications North, Inc. (Ionex) filed an access replacement tariff on behalf of Ionex. This South Dakota Tariff No. 6, issued by Ionex cancels and replaces in its entirety, South Dakota PUC Access Services Tariff No. 5, issued by Ionex. The Company requests an effective date of November 18, 2009. On November 4, 2009, the Commission received replacement pages to the access replacement tariff originally filed on October 16, 2009, on behalf of Ionex. The Company has decided to remove the CMRS provisions from the proposed tariff. The Company again respectfully requests an effective date of November 18, 2009. On March 23, 2010, the Commission received replacement pages to the access replacement tariff originally filed on October 16, 2009, on behalf of Ionex. As requested by PUC Staff, this filing adjusts the switched access rates to be at or lower than Qwest's.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant approval of the switched access tariff?

3.      TC10-017        In the Matter of the Application of Neutral Tandem-South Dakota, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Facilities-Based and Resold Local Exchange and Interexchange Telecommunications Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

On February 11, 2010, Neutral Tandem-South Dakota, LLC (Neutral Tandem) filed an application for a Certificate of Authority to provide local exchange and interexchange services throughout South Dakota by utilizing a combination of resold services and facilities-based services. Neutral Tandem intends to initially offer transport and access services for competitive carriers. On March 12, 2010, the Commission received a Petition to Intervene from South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA) and from South Dakota Network (SDN), separately. At its regularly scheduled meeting on March 23, 2010, the Commission granted intervention to both parties that applied.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Certificate of Authority?

4.      TC10-019           In the Matter of the Filing by Verizon Long Distance LLC for Approval of Relief of its Certification Requirement to Post Indemnity Bond. (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On March 5, 2010, the Commission received an application by Verizon Long Distance LLC (Verizon), for revision of its certified authority to provide telecommunications service in South Dakota. Verizon is currently certified to provide interexchange services subject to a continuous $25,000 surety bond. Verizon now requests the bonding requirement be terminated and agrees to be restricted from offering any prepaid services (including prepaid calling cards) and not accept or require any deposits or advance payments without prior approval of the Commission.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant the party's request to withdraw its Indemnity Bond posted with this Commission?

5.      TC10-020           In the Matter of the Filing by Verizon Enterprise Solutions LLC for Approval of Relief of its Certification Requirement to Post Indemnity Bond. (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On March 5, 2010, the Commission received an application by Verizon Enterprise Solutions (Verizon), for revision of its certified authority to provide telecommunications service in South Dakota. Verizon is currently certified to provide interexchange services with the condition that it be responsible for disbursing funds from a surety bond to consumers for outstanding advance payment deposits and debit cards should they cease doing business in South Dakota. Verizon now requests the bonding requirement be terminated and agrees to be restricted from offering any prepaid services (including prepaid calling cards) and not accept or require any deposits or advance payments without prior approval of the Commission.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant the party's request to withdraw its Indemnity Bond posted with this Commission?

Items for Commission Discussion

Announcements

1.   The Public Utilities Commission offices will be closed Friday, April 2, in observance of Good Friday.

2.   The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held April 20, 2010, at 9:30 a.m. (CDT) in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

3.   Commissioners will attend the NorthWestern Energy Community Leaders Meeting held April 22 at NorthWestern Energy's Operations Center in Huron, S.D.

4.   Commissioners will attend the Renewables on Tribal Homelands Conference held April 28-30, 2010, at the Rosebud Casino Complex.

5.   Commission meetings are scheduled for May 4 and May 18, 2010.

6.   A hearing in Docket TC10-014 will be held May 19-20, 2010, in Room 414 of the State Capitol Building, 500 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D. The hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m. (CDT) May 19, 2010.

 /S/ Cindy Kemnitz               .
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us  
March 30, 2010