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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
November 23, 2010, at 9:30 A.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, November 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 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, Click on "Commission Meeting Archives," to access the recordings.

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 October 26, 2010 and November 9, 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.      EL10-015 -  In the Matter of the Petition of Otter Tail Power Company to Establish a Transmission Cost Recovery Tariff (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Bob Knadle, Dave Jacobson, Brittany Mehlhaff, Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorneys: Kara Semmler, Ryan Soye)

         On November 5, 2010, the Commission received a petition from Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail) requesting approval to establish a Transmission Cost Recovery Tariff. The tariff mechanism provides for the automatic adjustment of charges to recover the jurisdictional costs of new or modified transmission facilities and federally regulated costs to increase regional transmission capacity or reliability. Otter Tail is proposing an effective date of March 1, 2011.

         TODAY, shall the Commission assess a filing fee in the amount of $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred from the date of filing?

Natural Gas

1.      NG10-010 -  In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of a Refund Plan (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On November 2, 2010, the Commission received a filing by MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican) for approval of a refund plan. MidAmerican received a credit in September 2010 from Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America. MidAmerican is seeking approval to incorporate South Dakota's portion of the refund plus interest in the December 2010 purchased gas adjustment (PGA) rate.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve MidAmerican Energy's proposed refund plan?

Telecommunications

1.      TC10-094 - In the Matter of the Filing by Entelegent Solutions, Inc. for Approval of its Switched Access Tariff (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On October 26, 2010, the Commission received a filing from Entelegent Solutions, Inc. for approval of its switched access tariff. The Company is asking for an effective date of November 26, 2010.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve the switched access tariff?

2.      TC10-095 - In the Matter of the Approval of a Wireline Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and Broadview Networks, Inc. for the State of South Dakota (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         On October 27, 2010, the Commission received a filing for approval of a wireline interconnection agreement between Qwest Corporation and Broadview Networks, 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 November 17, 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 approve the interconnection agreement?

Leadership

1.        Election of a Chairperson of the Commission. (General Counsel: John Smith)

         South Dakota Codified Law 49-1-8 states in part that, "The members of the Commission shall elect a chairperson by majority vote and prescribe his duties." Traditionally, the three Commissioners have elected a Chairperson and a Vice Chairperson every two years. SDCL 49-1-12 requires that, "Every vote and official action of the Public Utilities Commission shall be entered of record and its proceedings shall be public upon the request of either party or any person interested." Accordingly, the determination of the Commission's leadership structure shall be made at this public meeting.

         TODAY, how shall the Commission provide for its Executive Leadership?

Items for Commission Discussion

1.      As the Commission is aware, Commission Staff (Staff) is working to update the PUC utility territory maps to a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) database. Currently, Staff is in the process of compiling and verifying all maps in possession of the PUC. Once Staff has completed its review of a particular section of service territory, the data and legal description will be sent to the relevant electric utilities for comparison and verification. Once the information has been confirmed, Staff plans to input the data for use as its official mapping records. This information may be used in the future to address any complaints received, resolve territory disputes, and other tasks that require these maps. The process of converting mapping data to GIS will likely involve making changes to maps currently held by the PUC. This process, however, will not involve changing actual service territories. Pursuant to South Dakota law, it seems a docket is only required when there is an actual change in service territory. As such, Staff is asking for Commission input on what procedure is most appropriate for this conversion process. Specifically, Staff asks whether the Commission would like the data to be offered through an official docket to provide a public forum for any affected parties or whether it is appropriate to perform this function as an internal matter. Staff hopes any interested parties will provide comments on this discussion during the Commission meeting.

Announcements

  1. Commissioners will attend the annual meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, November 14-17, 2010, in Atlanta, Ga.
  2. Commissioners and staff will meet with representatives of NorthWestern Energy to discuss company updates on Tuesday, November 23, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. CST, in Room 413 of the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.
  3. The Public Utilities Commission offices will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 25 and 26, 2010, in observance of Thanksgiving.
  4. Commissioners and staff will host an Energy Briefing for Legislators on Monday, November 29, 2010, at 5:30 p.m. CST in Conference Room 2 at the Ramkota Conference Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.
  5. Commissioners and staff will host an Energy Briefing for Legislators on Tuesday, November 30, 2010, at 5:30 p.m. CST in the Prairie Room at the Watertown Event Center, Watertown, S.D.
  6. Commissioners and staff will host an Energy Briefing for Legislators on Thursday, December 2, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. MST in the Enigma Room at the Radisson, Rapid City, S.D.
  7. Commissioners and Staff will meet with representatives of the South Dakota Electric Utility Companies on Monday, December 6, 2010, at 12:00 p.m. CST at the Associated General Contractors office in Pierre, S.D.
  8. Commissioners and staff will host an Energy Briefing for Legislators on Monday, December 6, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. CST in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.
  9. The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held Tuesday, December 7, 2010, at 9:30 a.m., CST, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.
  10. Commissioners and staff will meet with representatives of Qwest to discuss company updates and the Qwest-Century Tel merger on Tuesday, December 7, 2010, at 2:30 p.m. CST in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.
  11. Commissioners and staff will attend the South Dakota Telecommunications Association/Public Utilities Commission biannual forum December 13-14, 2010, in Sioux Falls, S.D.
  12. Commission meetings are scheduled for December 21, 2010, and January 4, 2011.
  13. The Public Utilities Commission offices will be closed Friday, December 24, 2010, in observance of Christmas.
  14. The Public Utilities Commission offices will be closed Friday, December 31, 2010, in observance of New Year's Day.

/S/ Cindy Kemnitz
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
November 16, 2010