Consumer Assistance | Energy | Telecom | Warehouse | Commission Actions | Miscellaneous

arrow Commission Minutes| previous page


South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
December 20, 2011, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioner Chris Nelson and Commissioner Kristie Fiegen; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Kara Semmler, and Ryan Soye; Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Brian Rounds, Matthew Tysdal, Brittany Mehlhaff,  Jon Thurber, Cindy Kemnitz, and Bobbi Bourk; and Staff: Joy Irving and Demaris Axthelm.

Also present were: Philip Schenkenberg and Bret Lawson, Briggs and Morgan, P.A., representing Sprint Communications Company L.P.; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, and Northrup LLP, representing South Dakota Network; David Carter, Arent Fox LLP, representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC; Bill Heaston, South Dakota Network; and Jim Cremer, Bantz, Gosch, and Cremer, LLC, representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Philip Schenkenberg and Bret Lawson, Briggs and Morgan, P.A., representing Sprint Communications Company L.P.; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, and Northrup LLP, representing South Dakota Network; David Carter, Arent Fox LLP, representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC; Bill Heaston, South Dakota Network; and Jim Cremer, Bantz, Gosch, and Cremer, LLC, representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on December 6, 2011. (Staff: Joy Irving)

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the minutes of the Commission Meeting held on December 6, 2011. Motion carried 3-0

Consumer Reports

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

The Commission received a total of 70 contacts since the last report was prepared for the December 6, 2011 Commission meeting.

8 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 24 of the contacts involved electrical services, 10 contacts involved natural gas service, 8 contacts involved cell phone service, 11 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 1 contact was related to the Grain Warehouse Division, 1 contact was related to Keystone XL Pipeline, and 7 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

2,661 of the 2,696 complaints received in 2011 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL07-015     In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of its Proposed Energy Efficiency Plan for 2008. (Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds and Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding approval of MidAmerican's Proposed Energy Efficiency Plan filed by MidAmerican Energy Company which can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2011, December 20, 2011, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/Archives/2011/default.aspx

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant approval to extend MidAmerican's existing Energy Efficiency Plan for one year with no changes. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL11-028     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation, dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of a Contract with Deviations (Staff Analyst: Matthew Tysdal; Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Mr. Jeff Decker asked the Commission to grant approval for the Contract with Deviations on less than thirty-days notice. Ryan Soye, staff attorney, recommended the Commission grant approval.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant approval of the Contract with Deviations on less than thirty days' notice. Motion Carried 3-0.

TC09-098 was moved to the end of the agenda.

Telecommunications

1.     TC09-098     In the Matter of the Complaint filed by South Dakota Network, LLC against Sprint Communications Company L.P. Regarding Failure to Pay         Intrastate Centralized Equal Access Charges and to Immediately Pay Undisputed Portions of SDN's Invoices (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place among the parties and the Commission regarding South Dakota Network's (SDN'S) Motion for Partial Summary Judgment which can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2011, December 20, 2011, recording located at: http://www.puc.sd.gov/Archives/2011/default.aspx.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant SDN's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as it relates to Count II, including late charges and interest, and that Sprint pay the undisputed portions of the bills on a going forward basis. Motion carried 3-0.

Regarding Northern Valley's Motion for Leave to File Counterclaims, Mr. Schenkenberg, representing Sprint Communications Company L.P. (Sprint), stated that Sprint did not object to the motion.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant Northern Valley's Motion for Leave to File Counterclaims. Motion carried 3-0.

A lengthy discussion took place among the parties and the Commission regarding Sprint's Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims. The counterclaim at issue was Northern Valley's Count II. The discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2011, December 20, 2011, recording located at: http://www.puc.sd.gov/Archives/2011/default.aspx .

     Commissioner Nelson moved to deny Sprint's motion to dismiss counterclaim. Motion carried 2-1. Hanson dissented.
        
2.     TC11-093     In the Matter of the Filing by MCImetro Access Transmission Services LLC dba Verizon Access Transmission Services for Approval of its Access Services Tariff No. 2. (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Kara Semmler, staff attorney, asked the Commission to defer action on this docket until a further date.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to defer docket. Motion carried 3.0.
        
3.                       In the Matter of Failure of Certain Telecommunications Companies to Timely Pay their Gross Receipts Tax (Finance Manager: Cindy Kemnitz)

Cindy Kemnitz stated that the following companies have failed to timely pay their gross receipts tax as required by SDCL 49-1A:

Local Exchange providers:
NET TALK.COM, Inc.

Wireless providers:
Affinity Mobile, LLC dba Trumpet Mobile
Conexions LLC dba Conexion Wireless
Triarch Marketing, Inc. dba Triarch Communications

Long Distance providers:
1-800-Reconex, Inc.
Airnex Communications, Inc.
BLC Management LLC dba Angles Communications Solutions
Digital Telecommunications, Inc.
Hawk Relay, LLC
SNiP Link, LLC
Telenational Communications, Inc.

Ms. Kemnitz asked the Commission to issue an Order to Show Cause to all companies, for failure to timely pay their gross receipts tax as required by SDCL 49-1A.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to issue an order to show cause as to why the Commission should not fine, or suspend or revoke the Certificate of Authority of each of the companies for failure to pay the requisite gross receipts tax. Motion carried 3.0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 12:02 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned. The next Commission meeting is scheduled for January 3, 2012.

 

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
December 20, 2011