South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
June 1, 2010, at 10:00 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 Friday May 28, 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
1. Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
1. EL09-018 In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. for Authority to Increase its Electric Rates. (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle, Dave Jacobson, Terri LaBrie Baker, Jon Thurber, Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On September 30, 2009, Black Hills Power, Inc. (BHP) filed an application for approval to increase rates for electric service to customers in its South Dakota service territory. BHP states that it proposes to increase rates by approximately $32 million annually or approximately 26.6% based on BHP's test year ending June 30, 2009. The company states that a typical residential electric customer using 600 kWh per month would see a net increase of $17.99 per month. The proposed rates may potentially affect approximately 64,100 customers in BHP's service territory. At its October 20, 2009, meeting, the Commission suspended the imposition of the tariff for 180 days beyond September 30, 2009, and assessed a filing fee for actual expenses not to exceed $100,000. On November 5, 2009, the Commission received a Petition to Intervene from Countertops, Inc., d/b/a Dakota Panel South Dakota, GCC Dacotah, Inc., Rushmore Forest Products, Inc., Sanford Underground Laboratory and Spearfish Forest Products, Inc. (collectively, Black Hills Industrial Intervenors). On November 19, 2009, the Commission received a Petition to Intervene from Lilias Jarding, Bobbie Handley, Carla Kock, and the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center (collectively Residential Consumers Coalition). On November 20, 2009, the Commission received a Petition to Intervene and join with Black Hills Industrial Intervenors from Rapid City Regional Hospital, Inc. (Regional Hospital). At its November 24, 2009, meeting the Commission granted intervention to all petitioning parties. On December 21, 2009, Chesapeake Regulatory Consultants, Inc. submitted a Report and Consulting Services Proposal. At its January 5, 2010, meeting the Commission authorized its Executive Director to hire and enter into contracts with consultants. On January 12, 2010, Slater Consulting submitted a Proposal for the South Dakota PUC Staff to evaluate the 2007 Black Hills Integrated Resource Plan. On January 14, 2010, Commission Staff requested an additional $25,000 for expenses related to the review of an integrated resource plan. At its regularly scheduled meeting of January 19, 2010, the Commission considered this matter and approved the additional $25,000 filing fee assessment. On February 4, 2010, the Commission issued its Order for Continuance of Procedural Schedule and Hearing. On March 1, 2010, BHP submitted a request for authority pursuant to SDCL 49-34A-17 to implement an interim rate increase on April 1, 2010, until the Commission makes its final determination in this matter. In lieu of implementing its proposed rates as SDCL 49-34A-17 would allow without Commission approval, BHP requested authorization to implement an interim rate that would reduce revenue recovery on an annualized basis from approximately $32 million to approximately $24 million and would reduce the percentage increase in rates during the interim period from 26.6% to approximately 20%. At its March 9, 2010 Commission meeting the interim rate was approved. On May 14, 2010, a Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Stipulation and Settlement Stipulation were filed by Commission Staff and BHP. On May 19, 2010, a Brief in Opposition to Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Stipulation was filed by the Residential Consumer Coalition. On May 25, 2010, Chairman Johnson filed a letter requesting an Ad Hoc Commission meeting on May 27, 2010, to consider procedural matters.
TODAY, how shall the Commission proceed?
On May 17, 2010, the Commission received an application by Otter Tail Power Company (OTP) requesting extension of time beyond test period to file application for increase in rates. OTP requests to be allowed to file a general rate increase application on or before August 31, 2010, based on a calendar year 2009 test period. ARSD 20:10:13:44 requires the use of a test period consisting of 12 months of actual experience ending no earlier than six months before the date of filing unless good cause for extension is shown. OPT requests the extension because of efficiencies gained in the concurrent use of the test period in a Minnesota general rate increase filing. OTP also states a calendar year test period will simplify the filing efforts for OTP, will assist the Commission Staff in verifying OTP's financial status, and will cause the basis of rates charged to South Dakota customers to reflect proper levels of costs.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Petition for Extension of a Test Period?
1. OC09-002 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Larry Englerth, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, against Mark Seifkes dba S.P.O.T., De Smet, South Dakota. (One Call Executive Director: Larry Janes, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
The South Dakota One Call Notification Board received a complaint on March 3, 2009, against Mark Seifkes dba S.P.O.T. According to the complaint, although Mark Seifkes dba S.P.O.T. is statutorily required to be a member of the One Call System, he has refused to join. On June 11, 2009, the Enforcement Committee of the South Dakota One Call Board Ordered that a penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) pursuant to SDCL 49-7A-18 and five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) pursuant to SDCL 49-7A-19 for a total fine of six thousand dollars ($6,000.00) be paid by S.P.O.T. The penalty could be waived if Mark Seifkes dba S.P.O.T. fully complies with SDCL 49-7A by completing membership in the South Dakota One Call System and that he fully complies with SDCL 49-7A and ARSD 20:25 for twelve months following acceptance or resolution of Complaint OC09-002, or arrange with a third party, such as the City of De Smet, to assume responsibility for receipt of excavation notifications marking of the sewer line operated by him.
TODAY, shall the Commission pursue action to collect the penalty per One Call's request?
1. 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. On April 6, 2010, the Commission Ordered that the procedural schedule be set and be followed by the parties, except as otherwise be stipulated by the parties or as otherwise be ordered by the Commission. On May 17, 2010, a Joint Stipulation of the Parties Resolving All Issues was received by the Commission.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Certificate of Authority pursuant to the parties' agreement and close the docket?
2. TC10-028 In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Wireless Interconnection Agreement between West River Telecommunications Cooperative and Standing Rock Telecommunications, Inc. (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
On May 6, 2010, the Commission received a filing for approval of a wireless interconnection agreement between West River Telecommunications Cooperative and Standing Rock Telecommunications, Inc. for the state of South Dakota. Any party wishing to comment may do so by filing written comments with the Commission and the parties to the Agreement no later than May 26, 2010. Parties to the agreement may file written responses to the comments no later than twenty days after the service of the initial comments.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant intervention to any parties that have filed? AND shall the Commission approve the interconnection agreement?
Items for Commission Discussion
1. Qwest Rate Center Consolidation discussion
1. The Public Utilities Commission offices will be closed Monday, May 31, 2010, in observance of Memorial Day.
2. Commissioners and staff will attend the annual meeting of the Mid-America Regulatory Conference, June 6-9, 2010, in Kansas City, Mo.
3. The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held June 15, 2010, at 9:30 a.m., CDT, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.
4. Commissioners and staff will participate in an Energy Efficiency Workshop, June 23, 2010, at the Floyd Matthew Training Center in Pierre, S.D.
5. A hearing in Docket EL09-018 will be held June 28 – July 16, 2010, in Room 414 of the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D. The hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m., CDT, June 28.
6. The Public Utilities Commission offices will be closed Monday, July 5, 2010, in observance of Independence Day.
7. Commission meetings are scheduled for July 6 and 27, 2010.
8. Commissioners and staff will attend the annual summer committee meetings of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, July 18-21, 2010, in Sacramento, Calif.
/S/ Cindy Kemnitz .
May 25, 2010