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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
June 10, 2008, at 9:30 A.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 464
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 Attorneys Karen Cremer and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts Harlan Best, Dave Jacobson, Bob Knadle, and Terri LaBrie Baker; Consumer Affairs Supervisor Deb Gregg; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.
Also present were: Dave Gerdes, May, Adam, Gerdes and Thompson, representing MCImetro Access Transmission Services, LLC d/b/a Verizon Access Transmission Services; Bill Van Camp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers PC, representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest and Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Suzan Stewart and Donna Collins, representing MidAmerican Energy; Tom Dixon and Don Price, representing MCImetro Access Transmission Services, LLC d/b/a Verizon Access Transmission Services; Rose Mulvany-Henry, Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry, representing Momentum Telecom, Inc. and Mike Bradley, Fort Randall Telephone Company.
- Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on April 8 and April 22, 2008. (Staff: Demaris Axthelm)
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve the Commission Minutes of April 8, 2008 and April 22, 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 129 contacts since the last report was prepared for the May 20, 2008, Commission meeting. 16 contacts involved telecommunications services; 31 contacts involved electrical services; 18 contacts involved natural gas issues; 14 contacts involved cellular phone services 27 contacts involved the Do Not Call Registry;1 contact was related to wind energy and 22 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. In 2008, 975 of the 1,034 complaints registered have been resolved informally. In 2007, 2,300 of the 2,337 complaints registered have been resolved informally.
1. NG08-005 In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy for Approval of First Amendment to Natural Gas Service Agreement (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson/Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Ms. Suzan Stewart stated that MidAmerican requested approval of an amendment to a Natural Gas service agreement with Sapa Extrusions, Inc. with an effective date of June 1, 2008. Ms. Stewart further stated this would allow Sapa to participate in the group balancing services that are provided by different marketers. This would not be available if they have the non-standard balancing provisions in effect. Mr. Dave Jacobson stated this is an amendment to the balancing provisions of an existing contract and was filed with less than the 30 days notice with an effective date of June 1, 2008. Mr. Jacobson suggested that the June 1, 2008 effective date be changed to June 10, 2008 and recommended approval of the amendment to the natural gas service agreement with less than 30 days notice. Chairman Hanson stated that the change would place Sapa with a different group of customers and asked if the change would or could affect other customers. Ms. Donna Collins stated that they do have available group balancing for customers and gas supplier can merge customers into a group balancing program. MidAmerican would look at a group as one customer, therefore one customer could go over and another go under and the net affect would be zero.
Chairman Hanson moved to approve the First Amendment to Natural Gas Service Agreement and tariff revisions with less than 30 days notice and an effective date of June 10, 2008. Motion passed 3-0.
1. TC08-041 In the Matter of the Application of Momentum Telecom, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Ms. Rose Mulvany-Henry stated that Momentum filed an application for a certificate of authority to provide local exchange, interexchange assess telecommunications service and resold interexchange telecommunications through out the service territory of Qwest Corporation. Mr. Harlan Best stated Momentum has filed in accordance with the Commission's Administrative rule and no interveners filed. Mr. Best recommended the Commission grant Momentum the certificate of authority subject to the condition that Momentum 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, and subject to rural safeguards. Mr. Best further recommended that the Commission grant Momentum's request for confidential treatment of its financial statements.
Chairman Kolbeck moved to grant a Certificate of Authority to Momentum Telecom, Inc subject to subject to the condition that Momentum 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, and subject to rural safeguards and grant the request for confidential treatment of its financial statements. Motion passed 3-0.
2. TC08-042 In the Matter of the Filing by MCImetro Access Transmission Services, LLC d/b/a Verizon Access Transmission Services for Approval of its Access Services Tariff. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Tom Dixon, assistant general counsel of the North West Region for MCImetro Access Transmission Services, LLC d/b/a Verizon Access Transmission Services (Verizon) stated that the Commission did grant intervention to ATT of the Midwest (ATT) on May 20, 2008, and that since then ATT and Verizon have reached an agreement on the 8YY Traffic Transit Service portion of the tariff. On May 21, 2008, Verizon filed a Petition for Exemption under ARSD 20:10:27:11 from Developing Company-Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates and for Waiver of ARSD 20:10:27:12. Mr. Dixon stated that Verizon usually does not prepare state cost studies since Verizon has less than 50 access lines in the state of South Dakota. Mr. Dixon asked the Commission to grant the Petition and Waivers and approve the intrastate Switched access tariff. Mr. Bill Van Camp stated that ATT has no objection to the Intrastate Switched Access Tariff filing. Mr. Dave Jacobson stated that Staff recommends approving Verizon's intrastate switched access tariff and granting the petition that Verizon be exempt from establishing company specific cost based switched access rates pursuant to ARSD 20:10:27:11, to grant a waiver of ARSD 20:10:27:12 and that Verizon be allowed to offer rates equal to or less than that of Qwest Corporation's switched access rates and that Verizon be allowed to file adjustments to its switched access rates so long as those adjustments either mirror Qwest Corporation's rates or are lower or until the Commission shall otherwise order.
Commissioner Johnson moved to grant Verizon's petition to be exempt from establishing company specific cost based switched access rates pursuant to ARSD 20:10:27:11 and to grant a waiver of ARSD 20:10:27:12 and that Verizon be allowed to offer rates equal to or less than that of Qwest Corporation's switched access rates and file adjustments to its switched access rates so long as those adjustments either mirror Qwest Corporation's rates or are lower or until the Commission shall otherwise order, and to approved Verizon's intrastate switched access tariff. Motion passed 3-0.
3. TC08-044 In the Matter of the Request by Fort Randall Telephone Company for a Waiver of a Requirement to File a Switched Access Cost Study. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Mike Bradley stated that on May 14, 2008, Fort Randall Telephone Company (Fort Randall) filed an application for waiver of the requirement to file a switched access cost study as required by Commission rule. Mr. Bradley further stated that "Fort Randall requested a waiver of the cost study requirement because (1) producing such a study is costly and consumes a great deal of resources; and (2) Fort Randall does not intend to raise access rates at this time, although preliminary analysis indicates that a cost study would likely support higher rates than are currently approved." Mr. Harlan Best stated that Staff recommends that the Commission grant the waiver of the requirement to file a switched access cost study.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to grant FortRandall Telephone Company the waiver of a requirement to file a switched access cost study. Motion passed 3-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 10:05 am the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned.