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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 1, 2011, 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, January 31, 2011. 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 January 4, 2011. (Staff: Seanna Regynski) 

Consumer Reports

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

 Electric

1.     EL10-011     In the Matter of the Application by Otter Tail Power Company for Authority to Increase Rates for Electric Service in South Dakota. (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Bob Knadle, Dave Jacobson, Brittany Mehlhaff, Staff Attorneys: Kara Semmler, Ryan Soye) 

         On August 20, 2010, the Commission received an application by Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail) for approval to increase rates for electric service in its South Dakota service territory. Otter Tail states that it proposes to increase rates by $2,755,954 annually or 9.96% based on Otter Tail's 2009 test year. Otter Tail states a typical residential customer will see an increase of $9.68 per month under the rate design proposed by the Company. The proposed rate may potentially affect approximately 11,700 customers in Otter Tail's service territory. At its regularly scheduled meeting of September 14, 2010, the Commission assessed a filing fee as requested by the Commission Staff up to the statutory limit of $125,000. Further an intervention deadline of October 8, 2010, was established. Pursuant to SDCL 49-34A-14, the Commission suspended the operation of the schedule of rates proposed by Otter Tail for 180 days beyond August 20, 2010. No interveners filed in this matter. On January 19, 2011, the Commission received a request from Otter Tail for authority to use current rate design when implementing an "Interim" rate increase pursuant to SDCL Section 49-34A-17 on February 17, 2011, and until the Commission makes a final determination in this matter. 

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant the request for authority to use current rate design when implementing an interim rate increase? OR how shall the Commission proceed? 

Miscellaneous

1.     MS11-001     In the Matter of the Petition to Terminate the Ongoing Information Requirements in Docket F-3860 (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On January 5, 2011, the Commission received a petition from Commission Staff requesting the ongoing information requirements ordered in Docket F-3860 be terminated. By Order dated April 12, 1991, in Docket F-3860, the Commission ordered certain information from South Dakota Network, Inc. and South Dakota Centralized Equal Access, Inc. requiring the filing of monthly and quarterly reports. Commission Staff submits this information no longer needs to be collected and therefore petitions the Commission to terminate these reporting requirements.  

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Petition to Terminate the Ongoing Information Requirements in F-3860?

Telecommunications

1.     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: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer) 

         On October 29, 2009, SDN submitted this complaint against 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) 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 January 18, 2011, Sprint filed a Motion Requesting a Protective Order Requiring the Parties to Comply with a Confidentiality Agreement. 

            TODAY, shall the Commission grant Sprint's Motion for a Protective Order Requiring the Parties Comply with a Confidentiality Agreement? 

2.     TC10-096     In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Midcontinent Communications, Knology of the Plains, Inc., and Knology of the Black Hills, LLC, Against MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services for Unpaid Access Charges (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler) 

         On October 27, 2010, the Commission received a complaint from Midcontinent Communications, Knology of the Plains, Inc., and Knology of the Black Hills, LLC (Complainants) against MCI Communications Services, Inc. dba Verizon Business Services (Verizon) for unpaid access charges. The Complainants allege that Verizon has failed to pay invoices pursuant to state tariffs for the provision of intrastate switched access services. The Complainants believe Verizon withheld payment based on Verizon's argument the unpaid amounts are linked to IP-originated and IP-terminated traffic and it does not believe these items are subject to switched access tariff charges. The Complainants disagree, arguing traffic is undistinguishable and subject to switched access charges. On November 18, 2010, the Commission received an Answer to Complaint, Request for Stay to Permit Settlement Negotiations, Or, in the Alternative, Request for Hearing on Threshold Factual Issues Related to Jurisdiction from Verizon. On December 8, 2010, the Complainants filed their Opposition to Verizon's Request for Stay or Alternative, Request for Hearing on Threshold Factual Issues. On December 13, 2010, Verizon filed a reply to Complainants' Brief in Support of Opposition to Verizon's Request for Stay or Alternative Request for Hearing on Threshold Factual Issues. On December 21, 2010, Complainants filed a Request for Interim Relief. On December 27, 2010, Complainants filed a Request for Procedural Schedule. At its regularly scheduled Commission meeting held on January 4, 2011, it was Ordered that the Complainants' request for interim relief was denied, and that the Complainants' alternative request to cease providing intrastate switched access services to Verizon was also denied. It was also ordered that the Commission Counsel work with the parties to determine a procedural schedule with two rounds of discovery, the first round having 30 days, the second round having 21 days; to file any dispositive motions prior to the hearing; and to have all pre-filed testimony filed prior to the hearing. On January 14, 2011, the Commission received a petition to Intervene by the following parties: South Dakota Network, LLC, (SDN), South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA), and Local Exchange Carriers Association (LECA). 

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant intervention to all parties?

3.     TC10-099     In the Matter of the Application by Midcontinent Communications for Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Designation Within Certain Additional Qwest Service Areas (Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds/Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler) 

          On November 12, 2010, the Commission received an application from Midcontinent Communications seeking designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier in the Qwest service areas of Meckling, Summerset, Vermillion, Whitewood and Yankton.  

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant the application by Midcontinent Communications for Eligible Telecommunications Carrier Designation in Certain Additional Qwest Service Areas?

4.     TC11-001     In the Matter of the Application of WiMacTel, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Long Distance Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler) 

         On January 3, 2011, the Commission received an application from WiMacTel, Inc. (WiMacTel) for a certificate of authority to provide interexchange long distance service and local exchange services in South Dakota. On January 21, 2011, the Commission received a Petition to Intervene by South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA).  

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant intervention?

Items for Commission Discussion

Announcements

1.     An Open House for Legislators will be held on Wednesday, January 26, 2011, from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m., in the Commission's office at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

2.     Commissioners will attend an informational meeting with South Dakota Rural Electric Association managers, February 8, 2011, at 1 p.m., CST at the Ramkota, Pierre, S.D.

3.     Commissioners will attend the annual Winter Committee Meetings of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, February 13-16, 2011, in Washington, D.C.

4.     The Public Utilities Commission offices will be closed Monday, February 21, 2011, in observance of Presidents' Day.

5.     The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held Tuesday, February 22, 2011, at 2:30 p.m., CST, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

6.     Commissioners and staff will attend the Sioux Empire Home Show, March 4-6, 2011, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.

7.     Commission meetings are scheduled for March 8 and 22, 2011.

8.     Commissioners will attend the Center for Public Utilities Current Issues Conference, March 13-16, 2011, in Santa Fe, N.M.

9.     Commissioners and staff will attend the South Dakota/North Dakota Pipeline Safety Operator Training, March 15-17, 2011, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Sioux Falls, S.D.

 /S/ Cindy Kemnitz
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
January 25, 2011