Commission Minutes | previous page
South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
May 6, 2008, at 9:30 A.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 464
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETINGChairman 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 Attorneys Karen Cremer and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts Harlan Best, Dave Jacobson, and Bob Knadle; Consumer Affairs Supervisor Deb Gregg; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.
Also present were: Dave Gerdes, May, Adam, Gerdes and Thompson, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and TransCanada Keystone Pipeline; Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy; Gordon Woods, South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company; and Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, & Northrup, LLP, representing South Dakota Network, LLC.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Mark Shlanta and Tim Eklund, South Dakota Network, LLC; Doug Eidahl, Vantage Point on behalf of Sancom, Inc. and Kristi Lynstad, Knology Community Telephone, Inc. (fka PrairieWave Community Telephone, Inc.).
- Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on February 12, February 26, and March 11, 2008. (Staff: Demaris Axthelm)
Commissioner Johnson moved to approve the Commission Minutes of February 12, February 26, and March 11, 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 79 contacts since the last report was prepared for the April 22, 2008, Commission meeting. 7 contacts involved telecommunications services; 20 contacts involved electricity issues; 7 contacts involved natural gas issues; 8 contacts involved cellular phone issues; 24 contacts involved the Do Not Call Registry; and 10 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. In 2008, 748 of the 790 complaints registered have been resolved informally. In 2007, 2,300 of the 2,337 complaints registered have been resolved informally.
One Call Notification
1. OC07-006 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by One Call Systems, Inc. against D&D Trailer Park aka S.P.O.T., DeSmet, South Dakota. (One Call Executive Director: Larry Englerth, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Ms. Kara Semmler stated that Mr. Mark Seifkes owner of D&D trailer park d/b/a S.P.OT. owns and operates a sewer line that goes north from his property across HWY 14 and then follows the north ditch to the City Limits of DeSmet where it connects to the DeSmet municipal sewer system. Ms. Semmler stated the sewer line is not exempt under § 49-7A-15. It extends beyond the private property of Mark Seifkes S.P.O.T. Ms. Semmler further stated the committee recommended a penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) with one thousand dollars ($1,000) being suspended according to the following conditions: either (i) Mr. Seifkes join and participate in the South Dakota One Call System or that (ii) Mr. Seifkes arranges with a third party, such as the City of DeSmet, to assume responsibility for the receipt of excavation notifications and marking of the sewer line operated by Mr. Seifkes. Mr. Seifkes failed to take action on either option and now owes One Thousand Dollars in civil penalties. After notice and opportunity for response, he failed to pay such penalties. Ms. Semmler asks the Commission Grant Staff permission to obtain a Civil Judgment against D&D Trailer Park aka S.P.O.T. in Circuit Court Pursuant to SDCL 49-7A-28.
Commissioner Johnson moved to grant permission to get a civil Judgment against D&D Trailer Park aka S.P.O.T. in Circuit Court Pursuant to SDCL 49-7A-28. Motion passed 3-0.
1. PS08-001 In the Matter of the Filing of the Investigation of the Natural Gas Incident of February 20, 2008, on Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.'s System in Pierre, South Dakota. (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem/Daris Ormesher, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Mr. Dave Gerdes, representing Montana Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU) asked that the Commission grant MDU intervention and stated MDU has no objection to South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company's (SDIP) intervention. Mr. Gordon Woods asked that the Commission grant intervention to SDIP. Ms. Kara Semmler stated that Staff supports intervention to both MDU and SDIP.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to grant intervention to South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company and Montana Dakota Utilities Co. Motion passed 3-0.
Ms. Kara Semmler stated that Qwest Corporation ("Qwest") and Granite Telecommunications, LLC ("Granite") have agreed to defer action until further discussions.
Chairman Hanson moved to defer Docket TC06-171. Motion passed 3-0.
2. TC07-061 In the Matter of the Filing by PrairieWave Community Telephone, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Harlan Best stated that PrairieWave Community Telephone now known as Knology Community Telephone, filed a request to add Direct-Trunked Transport Monthly Rates to its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff. Mr. Best stated that he asked the Company how it would propose to reduce its present transport rate. Ms. Kristi Lynstad stated that there would have been very few instances where Knology would charge for this service and Knology therefore filed the request to withdraw. Staff recommended granting the withdrawal.
Commissioner Johnson moved to grant the request to withdraw. Motion passed 3-0.
Ms. Kara Semmler stated the agreement has been properly filed, has been properly executed and did not appear to contain discriminatory provisions. No comments were filed and Staff recommended approval of the interconnection agreement
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve the interconnection agreement. Motion passed 3-0.
4. TC08-037 In the Matter of the Filing by South Dakota Network, LLC for an Extension of an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Ms. Darla Rogers stated that South Dakota Network, LLC (SDN) filed a request for an extension of time on exemption from developing company specific cost-based switched access rates. Ms. Rogers stated that producing a study would be costly, and Ms. Rogers indicated that a preliminary analysis indicated that a cost study would support higher rates and SDN did not anticipate raising access rates at this time. Mr. Mark Shlanta and Tim Eklund had no comments. Mr. Harlan Best stated that no parties have filed to intervene and Staff agreed with Ms. Rogers and recommended granting the three year extension.
Chairman Hanson moved to grant the extension of an exemption from developing company specific cost-based switched access rates. Motion passed 3-0.
5. TC08-038 In the Matter of the Application of Sancom, Inc. d/b/a Mitchell Telecom for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services in the Exchanges served by Qwest Corporation throughout South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Harlan Best stated that Staff had reviewed the application and that it was filed in accordance with the Commission's Administrative rules. Mr. Best further stated that this clears up an oversight of the original application that was for local authority only. Staff recommended granting Sancom Inc. a Certificate of Authority.
Commissioner Johnson moved to grant a Certificate of Authority to Sancom, Inc. d/b/a Mitchell Telecom. Motion passed 3-0.
ADDENDUM TO THE
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING
1. HP07-001 In the Matter of the Application of TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP for a Permit under the South Dakota Energy Conversion and Transmission Facility Act to Construct the Keystone Pipeline Project. (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle/Nathan Solem, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Mr. Dave Gerdes asked the Commission for approval of Ms. Sarah J. Metcalf as the Project's Public Liaison Officer. Mr. Gerdes further stated TransCanada Keystone Pipeline is working with Staff on the language in the Construction Bond and asked it be deferred. Ms. Kara Semmler stated Ms. Metcalf has prior work experience in the pipeline process as a land agent. She previously worked with landowners, construction crews and corporate leaders. Ms. Semmler stated Staff recommends approval of Ms. Sarah Metcalf as the project's Public Liaison Officer.
Chairman Hanson moved to approve Ms. Sara Metcalf as the Public Liaison Officer. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Hanson moved to defer approval of the Construction Bond. Motion passed 3-0.
SECOND ADDENDUM TO THE
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING
1. NG08-001 In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy for Approval of a Contract with Deviations with Aberdeen Energy LLC. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Jeff Decker stated that NorthWestern Energy (NWE) filed a contract with deviations to serve Aberdeen Energy LLC., an ethanol production facility located near Mina, South Dakota. NWE has built a 7 mile pipeline in order to serve Aberdeen Energy which is projected to use 8,600 MMBtu per day. Mr. Dave Jacobson recommended approval with the following conditions: that this approval does not predetermine a Commission decision at the time of future rate case proceedings regarding rate treatment concerning possible cost recovery shortfalls resulting from rates approved, and that conditions 10, 11, 12, and 13 as listed in the settlement stipulation in Docket NG07-013 be incorporated by reference in the Order and with an effective date of June 1, 2008.
Commissioner Johnson moved to approve the Contract with Deviations with the condition that this approval does not predetermine a Commission decision at the time of future rate case proceedings regarding rate treatment concerning possible cost recovery shortfalls resulting from rates approved and that Conditions 10, 11, 12, and 13 as found in NG07-013 are incorporated herein by reference and to approve the tariff with an effective date of June 1, 2008. Motion passed 3-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 10:08 am the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned.