South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
January 4, 2011, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Chairman Kolbeck called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioners Gary Hanson and Dusty Johnson; Commission Attorneys: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Kara Semmler and Ryan Soye; Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Brittany Mehlhaff, Ross Pedersen, and Chris Daugaard; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.
Also present were: Kathy Ford, Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz, & Smith, representing Midcontinent Communications, Knology of the Plains, Inc., and Knology of the Black Hills, LLC; Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes, and Thompson, representing Verizon Business Services; Darla Pollman Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, representing South Dakota Telecommunications Association and South Dakota Network; and Barry Onrel.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Analyst; Jessica Fyhrie and Ron Spangler, Otter Tail Power Company; Tamie Aberle, Montana Dakota Utilities Co.; Chad Wachter, Knology; Mary Lohnes, Midcontinent Communications, Chris Oatway and Curtis Groves, Verizon; and James Falvey, PacWest Telecomm.
(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)
Chairman Kolbeck stated that docket TC10-096 would be moved to the end of the agenda.
Commissioner Johnson moved to approve the minutes of the commission meeting November 23, 2010, and December 7, 2010. Motion passed 3-0.
1. Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
Ms. Kara Semmler, Staff Attorney, reported that the Commission received a total of 198 contacts since the last report was prepared for the December 7, 2010, Commission meeting. 30 contacts involved telecommunications services; 50 of the contacts involved electrical services; 34 contacts involved natural gas services; 1 contact was related to gas and electric service; 31 contacts involved cell phone services; 25 contacts were related to the Do Not Call registry; 2 contacts was related to wind energy; 1 contact was related to the Keystone Pipeline; and 24 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. In 2010, 2,809 of the 2,842 complaints registered have been resolved.
Mr. Ron Spangler, Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail), provided a brief history of the filing and requested Commission approval of the tariff revisions. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, Staff Analyst, stated that the filing was a clean up of Otter Tail's summary of contracts with deviations. Ms. Mehlhaff stated that Staff recommended approval of the tariff revisions with an effective date of January 4, 2011.
Vice-Chairman Hanson moved to approve Otter Tail's request for approval of tariff revisions with an effective date of January 4, 2011. Motion passed 3-0.
Ms. Tamie Aberle, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), provided a brief history on the filing and requested Commission approval of the tariff revision. Mr. Chris Daugaard, Staff Analyst, stated that Staff recommended approval of the requested tariff revision, as well as granting MDU's request to waive ARSD 20:10:13:18, as Countertops, Inc. is the only customer affected by the tariff revision.
Commissioner Johnson moved to approve MDU's request for approval of the tariff revision and to grant the requested waiver of ARSD 20:10:13:18. Motion passed 3-0.
1. TC10-096 In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Midcontinent Communications, Knology of the Plains, Inc., and Knology of the Black Hills, LLC, Against MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services for Unpaid Access Charges (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
A lengthy discussion took place between the parties regarding the issues. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC Web site under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2011, January 4, 2011, Recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/Archives/2011/default.aspx.
Chairman Kolbeck moved to deny the Complainants' request for interim relief. Motion passed 2-1 (Hanson dissenting)
Chairman Kolbeck moved to deny the Complainants' request to cease providing intrastate switched access services to Verizon. Motion passed 3-0.
Commissioner Johnson moved to have Commission Counsel work with the parties to determine a procedural schedule with two rounds of discovery, the first round having 30 days, the second round having 21 days; to file any dispositive motions prior to the hearing; and to have all pre-filed testimony filed prior to the hearing. Motion passed 3-0.
2. TC10-097 In the Mater of the Application of Pac-West Telecomm, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Facilities Based and Resold Local Exchange and Interexchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. James Falvey, Pac-West Telecomm, Inc. (Pac-West), provided a background on the filing and requested Commission approval for a certificate of authority and requested exemptions or waivers of ARSD 20:10:27:07, 20:10:27:11, 20:10:27:12, and 20:10:27:13. Ms. Karen Cremer, Staff Attorney, stated that Staff recommended approval of a certificate of authority, subject to rural safeguards. Ms. Cremer stated that Staff also recommended approval of the requested exemption of ARSD 20:10:27:11 and waivers of ARSD 20:10:27:07, 20:10:27:12, and 20:01:27:13, as the switched access tariff rate of Pac-West is at or below the switched access rates of Qwest Corporation.
Vice Chairman Hanson moved to grant Pac-West a certificate of authority, subject to rural safeguards to approve Pac-West's switched access tariff, and to grant the exemption of ARSD 20:10:27:11 and the waivers of ARSD 20:10:27:07, 20:10:27:11, 20:10:27:12, and 20:01:27:13. Motion passed 3-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 10:56 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned. The next Commission meeting is scheduled for January 18, 2011.
January 4, 2011