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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
January 17, 2012, at 2:30 P.M. CST
Room 414, Capitol Building, Pierre, South Dakota
Room FADM 265, University Center, 4801 N. Career Ave., Sioux Falls, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Commission Counsel: Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer Ryan Soye and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts: Bobbi Bourk, Chris Daugaard, Jon Thurber, Dave Jacobson, Brian Rounds, Matthew Tysdal and Brittany Mehlhaff; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Joy Irving and Demaris Axthelm

Also present were: Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; Margo Northrup, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, and Northrup LLP, representing South Dakota Telecommunications Association; Pam Bonrud, Northwestern Energy; and Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes, and Thompson, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities

Also present by DDN in Room FADM 265, University Center, 4801 N. Career Ave., Sioux Falls, South Dakota: Chairman Chris Nelson called the meeting to Order. Present were: Vice Chairman Kristie Fiegen; Commission Counsel: John Smith; Bleau LaFave and Sara Dannen, NorthWestern Corporation, dba NorthWestern Energy; and Jim Wilcox and Kari Valley, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Commissioner Gary Hanson; Don Price and Dave Haga, MCImetro Access Transmission Services LLC dba Verizon Access Transmission Services; Pat Mastel, OrbitCom, Inc.; Jessica Fyhrie, Otter Tail Power Company; Brian Zelenak, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Bill Hunt, Liberty-Bell Telecom, LLC dba DISH Network Phone and Internet; Peg Prendergast and Ann Thompson, Sprint Communications Company, L.P.; Andrew Isar, Miller Isar, representing 360 Networks (USA) Inc; Mary Buley, 360networks (USA) Inc.; Chris Cranford, McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, L.L.C. dba PAETEC Business Services; Wayne Johnson, Lisa Hensley-Eckert and Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on January 3, 2012. (Staff: Joy Irving)

      Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the minutes of the Commission Meeting held on January 3, 2012. 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 58 contacts since the last report was prepared for the January 3, 2012 Commission meeting.

11 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 15 of the contacts involved electrical services, 7 contacts involved natural gas service, 1 contact involved gas and electric service, 2 contacts involved cell phone service, 11 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 1 contact was related to the Keystone XL Pipeline and 10 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

46 of the 58 complaints received in 2012 have been resolved.

2,749 of the 2,760 complaints received in 2011 have been resolved.

Commissioner Nelson stated that the deferred dockets TC11-075 and TC11-077 from the December 6, 2011 were to be heard on today's agenda.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to further defer dockets TC11-075 and TC11-077 to January 31, 2012 commission meeting. Motion carried 3-0.

Electric

1.     EL11-023     In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of a Credit Mechanism for a Department of Energy Settlement Payment Along with Deferred Accounting and Approval to Depart from Its Fuel Clause Tariff, as Necessary (Staff Analyst: Jon Thurber, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Kari Valley, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), asked the Commission for approval of a credit mechanism for funds received from a Settlement with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) for DOE's partial breach of its contract to begin accepting spent nuclear fuel on or before January 31, 1998. The gross amount currently available for credit is $99,966,841 on a total NSP system basis, or approximately $4.3 million on a South Dakota jurisdictional basis. Mr. Jon Thurber, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the credit mechanism described in staff's memorandum filed on 12/28/2011 and grant approval for deferred accounting treatment of future Settlement proceeds.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant approval of the Staff's recommendation for the credit mechanism. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant approval of the Staff's recommendation for the deferred accounting treatment of future Settlement proceeds. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL11-029     In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Matthew Tysdal; Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Ms. Jessica Fyhrie, Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail), asked the Commission for approval of a revised Section 16.00, Sheet No. 1. This revised sheet is the second revision to Sheet No. 1 Otter Tail's Summary of Contracts with Deviations. The municipal service agreement between Otter Tail and the City of Britton, S.D., referenced on the current Summary of Contracts with Deviations, has expired and a new agreement for municipal services was made as of November 24, 2011, which brings rates within Otter Tail's current tariff on file with the Commission. Mr. Ryan Soye, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant Otter Tail approval of the tariff revisions.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant approval of the tariff revisions. Motion carried 3-0.

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)

NorthWestern Energy asked the Commission to defer action on this docket until the next scheduled Commission meeting. Neither staff nor Montana-Dakota objected.

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

Telecommunications

1.     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)

Mr. Bill Hunt, Liberty-Bell Telecom, LLC dba DISH Network Phone and Internet asked the Commission for approval of its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff No. 1. This tariff applies to Intrastate Switched Exchange Access Service provided to customers for origination and termination of traffic to and from South Dakota Central Office codes directly assigned to Liberty-Bell Telecom, LLC dba DISH Network Phone & Internet in the absence of a separate interconnection agreement between the company and customer. Mr. Chris Daugaard, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval.
        
     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant approval to Liberty-Bell Telecom, LLC's Intrastate Switched Access Tariff No. 1.

     Commission Fiegen moved to amend the motion for the removal of section 2.1.4F.  Motion carried 2-1. Nelson dissented.

     The Commission then voted to approve the tariff. Motion carried 3-0.
        
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)

Mr. Don Price, MCImetro Access Transmission Services LLC dba Verizon Access Transmission Services, asked the Commission for approval of revisions to its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff No. 2. These tariff pages reflect Verizon Access' implementation of the Intercarrier compensation regime for certain VoIP-PSTN traffic that was recently mandated (absent agreement by the affected companies) by the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") in its November 18, 2011, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WC Dockets No. 10-90, etc. In accordance with that Order, the tariff revisions will take effect on January 1, 2012. The amendments implement a methodology, consistent with the FCC's Order, for separating Relevant VoIP-PSTN traffic from access traffic that will be billed at standard intrastate switched access rates. The VoIP-PSTN traffic so identified will be billed at the rates set forth in MCImetro's interstate access tariff. Mr. Chris Daugaard, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant approval of the tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC11-094     In the Matter of the Filing by Sprint Communications Company, L.P. for Approval of its Access Services Tariff No. 3 (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Peg Prendergast, Sprint Communications Company, L.P., asked the Commission to grant approval of its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff No. 3. Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney recommended that the Commission grant approval.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant approval of the tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     TC11-096     In the Matter of the Filing by 360networks (USA) inc. for Approval of its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Andrew Isar, 360networks (USA) Inc., asked the Commission to grant approval for its Access Services Tariff No. 1. Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant approval.

         Commissioner Hanson moved to grant approval of the tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     TC11-097     In the Matter of the Filing by McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, L.L.C. dba PAETEC Business Services for Approval of its Access Services Tariff No. 3 (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Chris Cranford, McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, L.L.C. dba PAETEC Business Services ("McLeodUSA"), asked the Commission to grant approval for its application of its Access Services Tariff No. 3. Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant approval.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant approval of the tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

6.     TC11-098     In the Matter of the Filing by OrbitCom, Inc. for Approval of its Access Services Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Pat Mastel, OrbitCom Inc., requested approval of a First Revised Page No. 68 and its Switched Access Tariff No. 2. Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant approval.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant approval of the tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

7.     TC11-099     In the Matter of the Filing by Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC for Approval of its Access Services Tariff (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Lisa Hensley-Eckert, CenturyLink QC, asked the Commission for approval of changes to its Access Services Tariff. Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant approval.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant approval of the tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 3:32 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

 

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
January 17, 2012