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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Friday, June 12, 1998; 10:00 A.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 412 Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE AD HOC MEETING
Chairman Jim Burg called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. Present were Commissioner Laska Schoenfelder, Commissioner Pam Nelson, Executive Director Bill Bullard, General Counsel Rolayne Ailts Wiest, Staff Attorney Camron Hoseck, Engineer Martin Bettmann, Telecommunications Analyst Harlan Best, Utility Analyst Dave Jacobson, Consumer Representative Leni Healy, Business Manager Sue Cichos, Legal Intern Ethan Meaney and Administrative Secretary Shirleen Fugitt.
Also present were Geoff Simon, Bob Hofer, Jerry Wattier, and Bruce Pier, City of Pierre; Tom P. Maher and Tom Maher representing the Intervenors in EL98-004; Susan Smith, Capital Journal; Tony Mangen, KCCR Radio; Terry Barge, Pierre, SD; Mayor Gary Drewes, Pierre, SD; and Robert K. Sahr, Pierre, SD.
Commissioner Nelson made the following comments and motions: I move that the Commission find that the proposed City of Pierre 115kV transmission line is not exempt from the Commission's siting jurisdiction because more than one mile in length does not follow section lines, property lines, roads, highways or railroads. The Commission should find that following section lines means that the transmission line must be located within a section line public highway which means 33 feet on each side of the section line; that following a road or highway means the transmission line must be located within the easement or right-of-way of the road or highway; and that following property lines means the transmission line must be located on the property line. The Commission should adopt this interpretation because it is consistent with the intent of the siting statutes that require the Commission to ensure that transmission facilities will produce minimal adverse effects on the environment and upon the states' inhabitants. Interpreting the word follow to mean that it merely needs to parallel a section line, highway, road or railroad would render the statute almost meaningless. The interpretation that I am proposing means that the City of Pierre must apply for a permit because in Segments F, G, H, and I the proposed transmission line will not be within the section line public highway nor will it be located on property lines. In addition, Commissioner Nelson also noted that there were a number of evidentiary problems with the City's case, not the least of which was the fact that the exact location of the line had not been determined. Chairman Burg seconded. Commissioner Schoenfelder dissented. Motion passed 2-1.
The meeting was adjourned.