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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Tuesday, January 20, 2004 at 1:30 P.M.
Capital Building, Room 468
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Chairman Bob Sahr called the meeting to order. Also present were Vice Chairman Gary Hanson; Executive Director Pamela Bonrud; Deputy Executive Director Heather Forney; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Commission Attorneys Rolayne Ailts Wiest and John Smith; Staff Attorneys Kelly Frazier and Karen Cremer; Staff Analysts Keith Senger, Harlan Best, Dave Jacobson, Jim Mehlhaff, Martin Bettmann, and Sue Schaefer; and Administrative Secretary Tina Douglas.
Also present were Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson, representing Midcontinent Communications; Tom Simmons, Midcontinent Communications; and Bob Miller, South Dakota Electric Utility Companies.
Joining the meeting by telephone were Ron Spangler, Otter Tail Power Co.; Pat Mastel, PrairieWave Telecommunications, Inc.; Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Paul, Goodsell & Nelson representing Western Wireless; Tom Welk, Boyce, Greenfield, Pashby & Welk LLP, representing Qwest Corporation; Lon Stanton, Northern Natural Gas; Marv Truhe, Black Hills Corporation; Jim Wilcox, Xcel Energy; Colleen Sevold, Qwest Corporation; Tim Goodwin, Qwest Corporation; Mary Lohnes, Midcontinent Communications; and Joe Schuele, Martin Group.
1. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on January 6, 2004. (Staff: Tina Douglas.)
Chairman Sahr moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on January 6, 2004. Commissioner Hanson seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
1. Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Jim Mehlhaff.)
Mr. Mehlhaff reported that the Commission received a total of 114 consumer contacts during 2004. Since the last report was prepared for the January 6, 2004, Commission meeting, 101 of these contacts had been received; 42 contacts involved telecommunications services; 18 contacts involved electricity issues; 12 contacts involved natural gas issues; 8 contacts involved gas and electric services; 1 contact involved cellular phone issues; 13 contacts involved the do not call registry; and 7 contacts involved miscellaneous services not regulated by the PUC. In 2004, 75 of the 114 complaints registered have been resolved informally. In 2003, 1864 of the 2572 complaints registered have been resolved informally.
1. EL03-033 In the Matter of the Request by Xcel Energy for Approval of the Construction of a Third Simple Cycle Combustion Turbine Generator at the Angus C. Anson Site Near Sioux Falls. (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Lon Stanton, Northern Natural Gas, had no issues with the proceeding but the company is seeking intervention for informational purposes. Mr. Jim Wilcox, Xcel Energy, had no objection to Northern Natural Gas intervening in this docket.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the intervention of Northern Natural Gas in EL03- 033. Chairman Sahr seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
Ron Spangler, Otter Tail Power Company, stated that Otter Tail Power Company filed an application to revise its tariffed Summary List of Contracts with Deviations. The existing contract with the City of Erwin will expire on February 1, 2004. Otter Tail states the new agreement does not contain any deviations from Otter Tail's currently filed tariff and therefore requests that reference to a contract with the City of Erwin be removed from the Summary List of Contracts with Deviations. Mr. Jacobson stated that notice is less than 30 days and recommended that the Commission approve the tariff revisions with less than 30 days notice, and with an effective date of February 1, 2004.
Chairman Sahr moved to approve the tariff revisions with less than 30 days notice, and with an effective date of February 1, 2004. Commissioner Hanson seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
Mr. Brett Koenecke, Midcontinent Communications, stated that Midcontinent Communications filed a Stipulation Agreement on January 20, 2004. Ms. Cremer recommended that this docket be deferred until the staff has time to review the Stipulation Agreement.
Chairman Sahr moved to defer #TC03-097. Commissioner Hanson seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
2. TC03-191 In the Matter of the Filing by WWC Holding Co., Inc. d/b/a CellularOne for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier in Other Rural Areas. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Talbot Wieczorek, Western Wireless, stated that on November 5, 2003, WWC Holding Co., Inc., d/b/a CellularOne (Western Wireless) filed a petition to be designated as an eligible telecommunications carrier. Mr Wieczorek stated that the wrong subsidiary was named in the petition. The petition should be WWC License, LLC rather than WWC Holding Co. which would correct the petition. Ms. Cremer stated that staff had no objection to the amendment of the petition.
Chairman Sahr moved to amend the petition in TC03-191. Commissioner Hanson seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
3. TC03-197 In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Amendment to a Paging Connection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and Arch Wireless Operating Company, Inc. (Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier)
TC03-201 In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and DIECA Communications, Inc. d/b/a Covad Communications Company. (Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier)
Mr. Frazier stated that the Amendments have been properly filed, have been properly executed, do not appear to contain discriminatory provisions, no comments were filed, and recommended approval of the Amendments.
Chairman Sahr moved to approve the Amendments in TC03-197, TC03-198, and TC03-201. Commissioner Hanson seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
4. TC03-204 In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Reciprocal Transport and Termination Agreement between Qwest Wireless, LLC and TW Wireless, LLC and PrairieWave Telecommunications, Inc. (Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier)
Mr. Frazier stated that the Agreement has been properly filed, has been properly executed, does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions, no comments were filed, and recommended approval of the Agreement.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the Agreement in TC03-204. Chairman Sahr seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
5. TC04-001 In the Matter of the Settlement Agreement between the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and Talk Too Me, L.L.C., a Limited Liability Company under Delaware Law, d/b/a 00 Operator Services, and d/b/a American Directory Services. (Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier)
Mr. Frazier stated that numerous consumers had filed informal complaints regarding Talk Too Me, L.L.C., a limited liability Company under Delaware law, d/b/a 00 Operator Services, and d/b/a American Directory Services (Talk Too Me). Staff and Talk Too Me have reached an agreement regarding allegations of unauthorized billings. The Settlement Agreement was filed with the Commission for approval on January 5, 2004. Mr. Frazier also stated that all consumers who paid their bills will be reimbursed 100%. The other consumers who received a billing but did not pay the bill will not be charged and the billing will not affect their credit ratings. Mr. Frazier recommended approving the Settlement Agreement.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the Settlement Agreement in TC04-001. Chairman Sahr seconded. Motion passed 2-0.
1. CT03-154 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Black Hills FiberCom, L.L.C., Rapid City, South Dakota, against Qwest Corporation Regarding Intrastate Switched Access Charges Applied to ISP-Bound Calls which Complainant Claims is Interstate in Nature. (Staff Analyst: Jim Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Kelly Frazier)
Mr. Marv Truhe, Black Hills FiberCom, L.L.C. (FiberCom), stated that an agreement had been reached regarding a procedural schedule for the discovery and hearing dates. Mr. Tom Welk, Qwest Corporation (Qwest), agreed with Mr. Truhe. Mr. Frazier asked Mr. Welk if Qwest was planning on filing a motion before discovery and hearing regarding subject matter jurisdiction. Mr. Welk stated that they would not file a motion before discovery is concluded but will raise the issue before hearing. Mr. Truhe stated that he believed that the Commission has subject matter jurisdiction . Mr. Frazier recommended the following procedural schedule:
March 23-25, 2004 Taking of Depositions
March 31, 2004 Deadline for Discovery.
April 27-29, 2004 Tentative Hearing Dates
Chairman Sahr stated that the availability of the hearing dates would have to be confirmed prior to scheduling these dates, but with that condition, the procedural schedule approved acceptable.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the procedural schedule in CT03-154 subject to staff confirmation of the availability of the proposed hearing dates. Chairman Sahr seconded. Motion passed 2-0.