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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
July 27, 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 July 26, 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 July 6, 2010. (Staff: Stephanie Harmon)

Consumer Reports

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

Electric

1.      EL10-006 - In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Approval of Tariff Revisions. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On June 4, 2010, the Commission received an application from Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU) for approval to revise its Occasional Power Purchase Non-Time Differentiated Rate 95, Short-Term Power Purchase Time Differentiated Rate 96 and Long-Term Power Purchase Time Differentiated Rate 97. The filing is made in compliance with the Commission's Order in F-3365 and in accordance with the Special Terms and Conditions of these tariffs, which state that the rate schedules will be reviewed annually and revised when necessary. MDU is also requesting a revision to the Company's Short Term Power Purchase Time Differentiated Rate 96 and Long Term Power Purchase Time Differentiated Rate 97 tariffs to remove the time of day provision with respect to the energy payment. The current tariff provides for an on- and off-peak energy payment with the on-peak hours defined as those hours between 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday in the months of June through September. All remaining hours are defined as off-peak hours. Given the narrowing of the differential between the on-peak and off-peak energy prices, the Company believes at this time a time differentiated provision for the energy payment is no longer warranted.

         TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Tariff Revisions?

2.      EL10-007 -  In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company Regarding its 2010 and 2011 Energy Efficiency Update (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On June 16, 2010, the Commission received a filing from Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail) for approval of updates to Otter Tail's 2010 South Dakota Energy Efficiency Plan and approval for the continuation of the program in 2011. Otter Tail is requesting increases in energy and demand saving goals and increases in related financial incentives for both 2010 and the requested 2011 program.

         TODAY, shall the commission approve Otter Tail Power Company's request for updated savings goals and incentives for the 2010-2011 South Dakota Energy Efficiency Plan? AND shall the commission approve the request for continuation of the program into 2011?

Telecommunications

1.      TC10-081 -  In the Matter of the Application of Liberty-Bell Telecom, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Facilities-Based Local Exchange, Exchange Access, and Interexchange Service in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On June 22, 2010, the Commission received an application from Liberty-Bell Telecom, LLC for Certificate of Authority to provide facilities-based local exchange and interexchange services in South Dakota. The Company applied for authority to provide services throughout existing Qwest territories.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to Liberty-Bell Telecom, LLC?

2.      TC10-082 -  In the Matter of the Filing by Qwest Corporation for Approval of Its Request to Consolidate the Morristown and McIntosh Rate Centers (Staff Analyst: Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On June 23, 2010, the Commission received a filing from Qwest Corporation (Qwest) for approval to combine rate centers within a single local calling area. Consolidating the rate centers of Morristown and McIntosh into one rate center will provide customers within a larger area the opportunity to move and retain their wireline telephone number. Qwest expects a rate center consolidation would help conserve telephone numbers and provide important customer benefit.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve the rate center consolidation?

3.      TC10-083 -  In the Matter of the Filing by Qwest Corporation for Approval of Its Request to Consolidate the Colman and Flandreau Rate Centers (Staff Analyst: Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On June 23, 2010, the Commission received a filing from Qwest Corporation (Qwest) for approval to combine rate centers within a single local calling area. Consolidating the rate centers of Colman and Flandreau into one rate center will provide customers within a larger area the opportunity to move and retain their wireline telephone number. Qwest expects a rate center consolidation would help conserve telephone numbers and provide important customer benefit.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve the rate center consolidation?

4.      TC10-084 -  In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Traffic Transit Update Amendment to Interconnection Agreement Between Qwest Corporation and XO Communications Services, Inc. for the State of South Dakota (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On June 29, 2010, the Commission received a filing for approval of a traffic transit update amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and XO Communications Services, Inc. for the State of South Dakota.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Agreement?

5.      In the Matter of the Request for Certification Regarding the Use of Federal Universal Service Support in Dockets TC10-033, TC10-037, TC10-040, TC10-042, TC10-043, TC10-049, TC10-051,TC10-052, TC10-053, TC10-054, TC10-058, TC10-060, TC10-068, TC10-072, TC10-073, TC10-074, AND TC10-075.

         TC10-033 - In the Matter of the Request of RT Communications, Inc. for Certification Regarding Its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst:  Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On May 19, 2010, the Commission received an application from RT Communications, Inc. requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-037 -  In the Matter of the Request of Western Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On May 24, 2010, the Commission received an application from Western Telephone Company requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.       

                  TC10-040 -  In the Matter of the Request of Beresford Municipal Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On May 24, 2010, the Commission received an application from Beresford Municipal Telephone Company requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.      

         TC10-042 - In the Matter of the Request of RC Communications, Inc. dba RC Services for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On May 24, 2010, the Commission received an application from RC Communications, Inc. dba RC Services requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.      

         TC10-043 -  In the Matter of the Request of SSTELECOM, Inc. dba ITC for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On May 25, 2010, the Commission received an application from SSTELECOM, Inc. dba ITC requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.           

         TC10-049 -  In the Matter of the Request of Long Lines Wireless, LLC for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support(Staff Analyst: Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

          On May 26, 2010, the Commission received an application from Long Lines Wireless, LLC requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C, Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-051 -  In the Matter of the Request of Alliance Communications Cooperative, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

          On May 27, 2010, the Commission received an application from Alliance Communications Cooperative, Inc. requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-052 -  In the Matter of the Request of Hills Telephone Company, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On May 27, 2010, the Commission received an application from Hills Telephone Company, Inc. requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-053 - In the Matter of the Request of Splitrock Properties, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On May 27, 2010, the Commission received an application from Splitrock Properties, Inc. requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-054 - In the Matter of the Request of RCC Minnesota, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On May 27, 2010, the Commission received an application from RCC Minnesota, Inc. requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-058 -  In the Matter of the Request of West River Telecommunications Cooperative (Mobridge) for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On May 27, 2010, the Commission received an application from West River Telecommunications Cooperative (Mobridge) requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-060 -  In the Matter of the Request of McCook Cooperative Telephone Company Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On May 27, 2010, the Commission received an application from McCook Cooperative Telephone Company requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-068 -  In the Matter of the Request of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On May 28, 2010, the Commission received an application from Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-072 -  In the Matter of the Request of Farmers Mutual Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On June 1, 2010, the Commission received an application from Farmers Mutual Telephone Company requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-073 -  In the Matter of the Request of Red River Telephone Association for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On June 1, 2010, the Commission received an application from Red River Telephone Association requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-074 -  In the Matter of the Request of Fort Randall Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney:  Kara Semmler)

         On June 1, 2010, the Commission received an application from Fort Randall Telephone Company requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TC10-075 -  In the Matter of the Request of Valley Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On June 1, 2010, the Commission received an application from Valley Telephone Company requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company in 2011.

         TODAY, shall the Commission Provide a Certification to the Federal Communications Commission and to the Universal Service Administration Company regarding the Plan for the Use of Federal Universal Services Support as Proposed in each of the above dockets?

Items for Commission Discussion

  1. On December 18, 2009, Otter Tail Corporation d/b/a Otter Tail Power Company filed an application to update the customer charges, the energy and capacity payments, introduce Renewable Energy Credits, and update the terms and conditions in the Small Power Producer Rider-Occasional Delivery Energy Service, Small Power Producer Rider-Time Of Delivery Energy Service, and Small Power Producer Rider-Dependable Service rate schedules.  The filed tariff, in Section 12.02 Sheet No 3 (Terms and Conditions, Paragraph 13) requires a small qualified facility to, "keep in force, liability insurance against personal or property damage due to the installation, interconnection and operation of its electric generating facilities. The minimum amount of insurance coverage will be $300,000." In Docket EL09-026, OtterTail's application was heard by the Commission on May 4, 2010.  At the hearing, Otter Tail expressed its desire to increase the insurance requirement of the current filed tariff from $300,000 to $500,000.The application was approved on the basis of leaving intact the current insurance requirement of $300,000 being reasonable despite some question regarding the tariff insurance provision.  Specifically, the tariff provisions are different than the requirement in ARSD 20:10:36:26.  The Commission accordingly suggested that Otter Tail provide additional justification on insurance coverage such as the need for coverage-specific rider, the effect of adding this coverage on pre-existing rates and the effect on premium rates of increasing coverage levels. The question today for discussion is whether the administrative rules provide for sufficient insurance coverage and whether the Tier One standard should be made less ambiguous.  Otter Tail will make a short presentation on the subject.  Any interested person is invited to participate in the discussion. 

Announcements

1.   The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held August 10, 2010, at 1:00 p.m., CDT, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

2.   Commissioners and staff will attend the Sioux Empire Fair, August 10-15, 2010, in Aberdeen, S.D.

3.   Commissioners and staff will attend the Brown County Fair, August 17-22, 2010, in Aberdeen, S.D.

4.   Commissioners and staff will attend the South Dakota Association of Telephone Cooperatives annual meeting, August 22-24, 2010, in Rapid City, S.D.

5.   Commission meetings are scheduled for August 25 and September 14, 2010.

6.   Commissioners and staff will attend a meeting with representatives of the Midwest Independent System Operator, September 1, 2010, in Pierre. S.D.

7.   Commissioners and staff will attend the South Dakota State Fair, September 2-6, 2010, in Huron, S.D.

8.   The Public Utilities Commission offices will be closed Monday, September 6, 2010, in observance of Labor Day.

 

 /S/ Cindy Kemnitz                                      .
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
July 20, 2010