South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 24, 2009, at 2:30 P.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 413
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Chairman Dustin Johnson called the meeting to order. Present were: Vice Chairman Steve Kolbeck; Commissioner Gary Hanson; Executive Director Patty Van Gerpen; Deputy Executive Director Heather Forney; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Commission Attorneys John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Staff Attorneys Kara Semmler and Karen Cremer; Staff Analysts Terri LaBrie Baker, Dave Jacobson, Bob Knadle, Jim Mehlhaff, and Jon Thurber; Consumer Affairs Supervisor Deb Gregg; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.
Also present were: Dave Gerdes, May, Adam, Gerdes and Thompson, representing, Midcontinent Communications; Mary Lohnes and Dan Nelsan, Midcontinent Communications; David Ziegler, Dan Kaiser and Colleen Sevold, Qwest Corporation; and Chris Kilpatrick, Todd Brink and Brian Iverson, Black Hills Power.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: George Thomson, Qwest Corporation and Roger Hall.
- 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 108 contacts since the last report was prepared for the February 10, 2009 Commission meeting. 58 contacts involved telecommunications services; 16 contacts involved electrical services; 5 contacts involved natural gas services, 2 contacts involved electrical and natural gas issues; 5 contacts involved cell phone services, 9 contacts involved the Do Not Call Registry, and 13 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. In 2009, 335 of the 382 complaints registered have been resolved informally. In 2008, 2,505 of the 2,513 complaints registered have been resolved informally.
1. CT08-002 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Roger L. Hall, Rapid City, South Dakota, against Qwest Corporation Regarding the Cost of Telephone Line Extensions (Staff Analyst: Deb Greg, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Mr. George Thomson, Qwest Corporation (Qwest), called Dan Kaiser, Qwest, to testify. Chairman Johnson questioned whether it was appropriate to hear testimony on a motion for summary disposition. After discussion among Complainant, Staff Counsel and Commission Counsel, the Chairman ruled that Mr. Kaiser would be permitted to testify only for the purpose of offering a verification of documents filed by Qwest in the nature of verification by affidavit, but would not be permitted to offer any substantive testimony. Mr. Thomson argued that there were no issues of material fact and that Qwest was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Mr. Hall argued that Qwest has an obligation to extend service to the minimum point of presence as basic provisioning of service to the neighborhood. Mr. Hall argued that he should not have to pay for common provisioning available to all future Qwest customers in the area. Mr. Hall agreed that he was responsible for line installments on his mobile home park property. The Commission found that genuine issues of material fact are presented with respect to the nature of and cost of facilities to be provided to the minimum point of presence, the potential for development in the area and other issues
Commissioner Hanson moved to deny the motion for summary disposition. Motion passed 3-0.
1. EL09-001 In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Corporation d/b/a Otter Tail Power Company for Approval to Update its Rates for Small Power Production and Cogeneration. (Staff Analysts: Stacy Splittstoesser/Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Mr. Dave Jacobson of staff stated that Otter Tail has requested to withdraw the filing and to close Docket EL09-001 until after the rate case is completed, to avoid a premature decision on appropriate marginal costs until addressed in the rate case.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to grant the motion to withdraw and close Docket EL09-001. Motion passed 3-0.
Chris Kilpatrick, Black Hills Power, gave a brief background on Black Hills Power's energy cost adjustment (ECA) that consists of a Conditional Energy Cost Adjustment (CECA), Transmission Cost Adjustment (TCA) and Steam Plant Fuel Cost Adjustment. Mr. Kilpatrick asked that the Commission approve the ECA. Mr. Bob Knadle recommended that the Commission approve the ECA with a March 1, 2009, effective date as proposed by Black Hills Power.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the electric cost adjustment in Docket EL09-002. Motion passed 3-0.
Mr. Dave Gerdes stated that Midcontinent's petition for reconsideration was short and to the point. Mr. Gerdes further stated that staff had pointed out to him that a cost study was not filed with the original filing on October 31, 2007. Mr. Gerdes further stated that a cost study since then has been filed and Midcontinent asked that the Commission grant Midcontinent's petition for reconsideration. Ms. Karen Cremer recommended that the Commission deny the petition for reconsideration for reasons that Midcontinent failed to state a legal ground for reconsideration and that it is not in the public interest to grant reconsideration.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to deny the Midcontinent's Petition for Reconsideration in Docket TC07-117. Motion passed 2-1 (Johnson dissenting).
2. TC09-002 In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, Inc. (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Mr. George Thomson, Qwest Corporation stated that an interconnection agreement has been filed between Qwest Corporation and McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, Inc. Ms. Kara Semmler stated that the agreement has been properly filed, has been properly executed and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions. No comments were filed, and staff recommends approval of the agreement.
Chairman Johnson moved to approve the interconnection agreement in Docket TC09-002. Motion passed 3-0.
3. TC09-003 In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and BLC Management LLC d/b/a Angles Communication Solutions. (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
George Thomson, Qwest Corporation, stated that an interconnection agreement has been filed between Qwest Corporation and BLC Management LLC d/b/a Angles Communication Solutions. Ms. Kara Semmler stated that the agreement has been properly filed, has been properly executed and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions. No comments were filed, and staff recommends approval of the agreement
Chairman Johnson moved to approve the interconnection agreement in Docket TC09-003. Motion passed 3-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 3:36 P.M. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned. The next Commission meeting is scheduled for February 24, 2009
April 21, 2009