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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
January 3, 2012, at 1:30 P.M. CST
Room 412, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioner Chris Nelson; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts: Chris Daugaard and Brittany Mehlhaff; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg and Staff: Joy Irving.

Also present were: Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes, and Thompson, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities; Margo Northrup, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, and Northrup LLP, representing South Dakota Network; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; and Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren, and Reimers, P.C., representing TC Systems, Inc.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Commissioner Kristie Fiegen and Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLC, representing Sprint Communications Company LP

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on December 20, 2011. (Staff: Joy Irving)

      Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission Meeting held on December 20, 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 64 contacts since the last report was prepared for the December 20, 2011 Commission meeting.

14 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 16 of the contacts involved electrical services, 8 contacts involved natural gas service, 8 contacts involved cell phone service, 8 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, and 10 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

2,729 of the 2,760 complaints received in 2011 have been resolved.

Pipeline Safety

1.     PS11-001     In the Matter of the Petition for Declaratory Ruling of the South Dakota      Public Utilities Commission regarding 49 CFR 192.3 (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem, Joshua Williams, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Brett Koenecke, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities, asked the Commission to grant intervention. Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended approval and asked the Commission to grant intervention.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant intervention to Montana-Dakota Utilities. Motion carried 3-0.

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)

Mr. Talbot Wieczorek, Sprint Communications, asked the Commission to approve the Stipulation for Dismissal of the Third Party Complaint against Sancom. Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, recommended granting approval of the Stipulation.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant Stipulation for Dismissal of the Third Party Complaint against Sancom. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC11-091     In the Matter of the Application of TC Systems, Inc., for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Bill VanCamp, representing TC Systems, Inc. asked the Commission to grant the request for a Certificate of Authority to provide local exchange services within the State of South Dakota and grant the Request for Waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:03(12).Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, stated that TC Systems, filed an application for a Certificate of Authority to provide local exchange services in South Dakota in accordance with the Commission's administrative rules. The Company has agreed to not offer any prepaid services, including prepaid calling cards, and to not accept or require any deposits or advance payments without prior approval of the Commission. Staff recommends the Commission grant the Certificate of Authority to TC Systems, subject to rural safeguards and the condition that TC Systems not offer any prepaid services, including prepaid calling cards, and not accept or require any deposits or advance payments without prior approval of the Commission, and grant the requested waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:03(12).

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant the request for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota with the stipulations of Staff and grant the requested waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:03(12). Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC11-092     In the Matter of the Filing by Liberty-Bell Telecom, LLC dba DISH Network Phone & Internet for Approval of its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff No.1 (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

     Commissioner Hanson moved to defer docket. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     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)

      Commissioner Hanson moved to defer docket. Motion carried 3-0.

Leadership

1.     Election of a Chairperson of the Commission. (General Counsel: John Smith)

South Dakota Codified Law 49-1-8 states in part that, "The members of the Commission shall elect a chairperson by majority vote and prescribe his duties." SDCL 49-1-12 requires that, "Every vote and official action of the Public Utilities Commission shall be entered of record and its proceedings shall be public upon the request of either party or any person interested." SDCL 1-25-1 requires that all official meetings of Commission be open to the public. Accordingly, the determination of the Commission's leadership structure shall be made at this public meeting.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to nominate Commissioner Nelson for the position of Chairman. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to nominate Commissioner Fiegen for the position of Vice Chairman. Motion carried 3-0. 

There being no further business, at the hour of 2:01 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.  

 

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
January 3, 2012