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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
January 18, 2011, at 2:30 P.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota


Chairman Kolbeck called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioner Chris Nelson; Commission General Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Kara Semmler and Ryan Soye; Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Bob Knadle, Ross Pedersen, Bobbi Bourk, Brian Rounds and Chris Daugaard; and Staff: Joshua Williams, Cindy Kemnitz, Deb Gregg and Demaris Axthelm.

Also present were: Scott Swier, representing Native American Telecom, LLC; Rich Coit, SDTA; Darla Pollman Rogers, representing SDTA, SDN, Midstate Communications and Midstate Telecom, Inc.; Kevin Kuba, Ottertail Power; Jeff Carmon, Qwest; Jim Wilcox, Xcel Energy; and William VanCamp, representing AT&T Communications.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Vice-Chair Gary Hanson; Mark Benton, Midstate Telecom Inc. and Scott Knudson, Sprint.

(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)

Consumer Reports 

1.     Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg) 

Ms. Deb Gregg, Consumer Affairs, reported that the Commission received a total of 101 contacts since the last report was prepared for the January 4, 2011, Commission meeting. 17 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 30 of the contacts involved electrical services, 12 contacts involved natural gas service, 1 contact was related to gas and electric service, 12 contacts involved cell phone service, 13 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 5 contacts were related to Wind Energy, 1 contact was related to the Keystone XL Pipeline, and 10 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC. In 2011, 77 of the 101 complaints received have been resolved. In 2010, 2,834 of the 2,842 complaints received have been resolved.


1.     EL10-016     In the Matter of the Application of Great River Energy and Northern States Power Company d/b/a Xcel Energy for a Permit to Construct a 10.6 Mile, 345 kV Transmission Line (CapX2020) in Brookings County near White, South Dakota (Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds, Joshua Williams, Ross Pedersen, Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Ryan Soye)  

Ryan Soye, Staff Attorney, reported that Brookings County is identified as a proper party to the proceeding under state statute and the administrative rules, and the request for party status was made within the designated intervention deadline. Staff recommended that party status be granted to Brookings County.

Commissioner Nelson moved to grant intervention to Brookings County Commission. Motion carried 3-0.


1.     TC10-026     In the Matter of a Complaint Filed by Sprint Communications Company, LP Against Native American Telecom, LLC Regarding Telecommunications Services (Staff Analyst: David Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)  

Mr. Scott Knudson, representing Sprint, and Mr. Scott Swier, representing NAT, both discussed Sprint's Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Reply to NAT's Reply Brief, or to Strike.

Kara Semmler, Staff Attorney, reported that Karen Cremer recommends the Commission grant the Supplemental Motion for Leave to File a Supplemental Reply Brief and should any other intervenors ask to file Supplemental Reply Briefs that the Commission grant those requests as well.

Commissioners addressed both parties regarding their briefs and the disregard of the timelines set by staff.

Chairman Kolbeck moved to grant Sprint's request to reply to NAT's Reply Brief to Staff's Brief, but denied their Motion to Strike. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC10-086     In the Matter of the Application of Midstate Telecom, Inc., For a Waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:06.01 (Staff Analyst: Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)        

Ms. Darla Rogers, representing Midstate Telecom, Inc. provided a brief history regarding the request for a waiver.

Vice-Chair Hanson moved to approve the amendment to the Certificate of Authority. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     In the Matter of Failure of Certain Telecommunications Companies to Timely File the Gross Receipts Tax (Finance Manager: Cindy Kemnitz) 

Cindy Kemnitz, Finance Manager, reported that CVC CLEC, LLC and Uni-Tel Communications Group, Inc. failed to timely file their gross receipts tax as required by SDCL49-1A and asked that the Commission issue an order to show cause. 

Chairman Kolbeck moved to take action on CVC CLEC, LLC and Uni-Tel Communications Group, Inc. to hold them to timely file their gross receipts tax. Motion carried 3-0. 

There being no further business, at the hour of 3:00 p.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned. The next Commission meeting is scheduled for February 1, 2011.


/S/Demaris Axthelm      
Demaris Axthelm
Administrative Secretary
January 18, 2011