South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
September 28, 2010, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Vice Chairman Kolbeck called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioner Gary Hanson; Commission Attorneys John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys Karen Cremer, Kara Semmler, and Ryan Soye; Staff Analysts Bob Knadle, Dave Jacobson, Brian Rounds, Joshua Williams, Brittany Mehlhaff, Bobbi Bourk, and Ross Pederson; Consumer Affairs Supervisor Deb Gregg; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.
Also present were: State Senator Frank Kloucek; Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Energy; and Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Chairman Dusty Johnson; Bleau LaFave, NorthWestern Energy; Bill Fulton, South Dakota Natural Gas Company, Elizabeth Kohler and Steve Otto, Verizon Wireless; Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer Nelson & Goodsell, representing WWC License dba Alltel Communications; and Roger Nikolas, TSP Sioux Falls, LLC.
(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)
Vice Chairman Kolbeck stated that the Addendum to the Agenda, EL10-013, would be heard before the Telecommunications Docket, TC10-067.
1. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on September 14, 2010. (Staff: Stephanie Harmon)
Chairman Johnson moved to approve the Minutes of the Commission Meeting held on September 14, 2010. Motion passed 3-0.
1. Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
Ms. Deb Gregg reported that the Commission received a total of 113 contacts since the last report was prepared for the September 14, 2010, Commission meeting. 27 contacts involved telecommunications services; 28 of the contacts involved electrical services; 12 contacts involved natural gas services; 5 contacts involved cell phone services; 2 contacts were related to Wind Energy; 15 contacts were related to the Do Not Call registry; and 24 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. In 2010, 2,108 of the 2,162 complaints registered have been resolved.
State Senator Frank Kloucek stated that he has spoken with several people in the Springfield area who are concerned with the number of outages in their community over the last several weeks. Senator Kloucek stated that there were three outages last week and he has encouraged individuals to file complaints with the PUC regarding the matter.
1. CE10-002 - In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Kathleen Soesbe, Springfield, South Dakota, Against NorthWestern Energy Regarding a Billing Dispute (Staff Analyst: Deb Gregg, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Ms. Kara Semmler, Staff Attorney, stated that a settlement has been reached between the parties, but needs to be signed by both parties before the Commission can close the docket. Ms. Semmler asked the Commission to defer action on this docket until both parties have signed the settlement agreement. No action was taken.
Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Energy, provided a background of the filing and asked for Commission approval of the tariff revisions. Mr. David Jacobson, Staff Analyst, stated that Staff recommended approval of the tariff revisions.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the tariff revisions with an effective date of October 1, 2010. Motion passed 3-0.
Ms. Semmler stated that South Dakota Natural Gas Company is very closed to obtaining compliance and asked the Commission to defer action on this docket until a later date. No action was taken.
A lengthy discussion took place regarding the transfer of assets of Verizon Wireless to AT&T Wireless and how it would affect the ETC certification for WWC License.
Commissioner Hanson moved to provide a certification to the Federal Communications Commission and to the Universal Service Administration Company regarding the plan for the use of federal universal service support for WWC License LLC. Motion passed 3-0.
ADDENDUM TO THE
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING
1. EL10-013 - In the Matter of TSP Sioux Fall, LLC Providing Notice and Asking for Determination of Metering Requirements for Certain Building Renovations (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)
Mr. Roger Nikolas provided a background of the filing and asked the Commission to provide TSP Sioux Falls, LLC (TSP) an exemption of ARSD 20:10:26:04(06). Mr. Brian Rounds, Staff Analyst, stated that Staff recommended the Commission approve a finding of exemption to the individual metering requirements of the electric utility systems of the building and asked the Commission to consider opening a rule making docket.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve a finding of exemption to the individual metering requirements of the electric utility systems of the building. Motion passed 3-0.
Ms. Rolayne Wiest, Commission Counsel, stated that Staff should provide proper notice and allow for comments regarding opening a rule making docket. Commission asked Staff to bring the request before the Commission at a later date when proper notice can be provided for additional comments.
There being no further business, at the hour of 11:16 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned. The next Commission meeting is scheduled for October 12, 2010.
September 28, 2010