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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 26, 2008, at 2:00 P.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 468
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to order. Present were: Vice Chairman Steve Kolbeck; Commissioner Dusty Johnson; Executive Director Patty Van Gerpen; Deputy Executive Director Heather Forney; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Commission Attorneys John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Staff Attorney Karen Cremer; Staff Analysts Harlan Best, Dave Jacobson, Keith Senger, Bob Knadle, and Brian Rounds; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.
Also present were: Dave Gerdes, May, Adam, Gerdes and Thompson, representing Midcontinent Communications and Excel Energy; Brian Iverson and Chris Kilpatrick, Black Hills Corporation; and Bob Miller South Dakota Electric Utility Companies.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Goodsell & Nelson, representing Sprint Communications Company L.P. and Alltel Communications, Inc.; Mary Sisak, Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy and Pendergast, representing Brookings Municipal Utilities d/b/a Swiftel Communications; and Brett Ferenchak, Bingham, McCutchen, LLP, representing Computer Network Technology Corporation.
Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on December 18, 2007; January 15, 2008; and January 29, 2008. (Staff: Demaris Axthelm)
Commissioner Johnson moved to approve the Commission Minutes of December 18, 2007; January 15, 2008; and January 29, 2008. Motion passed 3-0.
- Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
Ms. Deb Gregg reported that the Commission had received a total of 117 contacts since the last report was prepared for the February 12, 2008 Commission meeting. 22 contacts involved telecommunications services; 12 contacts involved electricity issues; 11 contacts involved natural gas issues; 14 contacts involved cellular phone issues; 45 contacts involved the Do Not Call Registry; and 13 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. In 2008, 316 of the 382 complaints registered have been resolved informally. In 2007, 2,274 of the 2,337 complaints registered have been resolved informally.
1. EL07-026 - In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company d/b/a Xcel Energy to Establish an Environmental Measures Cost Recovery Tariff and for Approval of 2007 and 2008 Planned Environmental Measures to be Included in Rates. (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson/Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Dave Jacobson stated that this docket is very similar to the transmission rider clause filing and Staff is proposing to hire the same consultant to work on each docket as they will complement the other. Mr. Dave Gerdes stated that Xcel Energy has no objection to the proposed consulting contract.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve the proposed consulting contract in Docket EL07-026. Motion passed 3-0.
2. EL08-001 - In the Matter of the Application of Xcel Energy for a Permit to Construct 6.5 Miles of 115 Kv Transmission Line and Associated Modifications to the Brookings Substation. (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle/Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Bob Knadle stated that per SDCL 49-41B-12, the filing fee is not to exceed $24,625, with an initial deposit of $8,000, the minimum fee allowed by law. Additional deposits may be requested by the Executive Director. Mr. Knadle further stated that this is standard procedure and Staff recommends approval. Mr. Dave Gerdes stated that Xcel Energy has no objection to the initial deposit and to the additional deposits not to exceed the amount of $24,625.
Commissioner Johnson moved to approve a filing fee for actual expenses not to exceed $24,625 with an initial deposit of $8,000, and to make such additional deposits as requested by the Executive Director. Motion passed 3-0.
Mr. John Smith asked the Applicant and Staff what type of method should be used for identification of landowners. Mr. Bob Knadle stated that Staff did request and Xcel did provide Staff with a list of landowners within one half mile from the proposed line. Mr. Knadle further stated that Xcel's list was from the county Director of Equalization Office for Brookings County. Mr. Dave Gerdes stated that Xcel Energy has no objection to establishing a method for notification. Mr. Gerdes further stated that he would like to verify the list with Mr. Jim Wilcox.
Chairman Hanson moved to approve the method of notification recommended by Staff in that Xcel will obtain the list of landowners of properties within one-half mile of the facility from the county Director of Equalization Office for Brookings County. Xcel will submit this list to the Commission and staff will send notification to landowners. Motion passed 3-0.
Brian Iverson, representing Black Hills Corporation stated that Black Hills filed for Commission approval for an increase to its Electric Cost Adjustment (ECA) to be effective for service on and after March 1, 2008. Mr. Iverson also stated that the ECA consists of a Conditional Energy Cost Adjustment, Transmission Cost Adjustment and Steam Plant Fuel Cost Adjustment. The net of these three adjustments result in an approximate $800,000 increase in the cost of service and will affect approximately 63,000 retail customers in South Dakota. Mr. Bob Knadle stated that Black Hills has provided numerous work papers to support its filing and this will be the first fuel clause adjustment to show up on a customer's bill since 1995. Staff recommended approval, subject to the removal of the proposed tariff rate summary sheets that are found in Section No. 2, Original Sheet Numbers 2, 2A, 2B, 2C and 2D.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve the Electric Cost Adjustment in Docket EL08-002 with the removal of the tariffs in Section No. 2 as recommended by Staff. Motion passed 3-0.
1. TC07-007 - In the Matter of the Petition of Brookings Municipal Utilities d/b/a Swiftel Communications for Suspension or Modification of Dialing Parity, Number Portability and Reciprocal Compensation Obligations. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Ms. Karen Cremer stated that a second Stipulation for Continuance was filed in this matter and it has been agreed to by the parties, all procedural deadlines have been moved back for five months and the procedural dates are contained in the Stipulation, with a decision made by the Commission by October 2008. Ms. Mary Sisak stated that the parties are engaged in negotiations for a business resolution and have agreed to extend the procedural deadline to avoid any unnecessary proceedings before the Commission. Mr. Dave Gerdes, representing Midcontinent asked the Commission to approve the Stipulation for Continuance.
Chairman Hanson moved to approve the stipulation for continuance in Docket TC07-007. Motion passed 3-0.
2. TC08-001 - In the Matter of the Joint Application of Computer Network Technology Corporation and Bandwidth.com CLEC, LLC for Approval to Transfer the Certificate of Authority from Computer Network Technology Corporation to Bandwidth.com CLEC, LLC. (Staff Analyst: Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Bob Knadle stated that on January 8, 2008, the Commission received an application for approval to transfer the certificate of authority to provide interexchange telecommunications and local exchange services from Computer Network Technology Corporation ("CNT") to Bandwidth.com CLEC, LLC ("Bandwidth"). Mr. Knadle further stated that Bandwidth has responded to all of Staff's data requests and Staff recommended transferring the certificate of authority from CNT to Bandwidth, subject to rural safeguards, and subject to the condition that Bandwidth not offer any prepaid services (including prepaid calling cards) and not accept or require any deposits or advance payments without prior approval of the Commission. Staff also recommended granting a waiver from ARSD 20:10:24:02 (9) and 20:10:32:03 (12) and that Bandwidth notify the Commission by letter when the purchase is completed. Mr. Knadle requested that CNT file for a withdrawal of its certificate of authority (COA) when the purchase is completed. Mr. Brett Ferenchak, representing CNT had no further comments.
Chairman Hanson moved to approve the transfer of certificate of authority from Computer Network Technology Corporation to Bandwidth.com CLEC, LLC under the conditions and recommendations by Staff with the exception of CNT filing for a withdrawal of its COA when the purchase is completed. Motion passed 3-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 2:50 pm the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned.
/S/ Demaris Axthelm__________ __