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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
March 27, 2012, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Chris Nelson called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioners: Kristie Fiegen and Gary Hanson; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Ryan Soye and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts: Matthew Tysdal, Ross Pedersen, Patrick Steffensen, David Jacobson, Brian Rounds, Brittany Mehlhaff, Jon Thurber, Jim Mehlhaff, and Chris Daugaard; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Joy Irving.

Also present were: Ray Martinmaas, Martinmaas Dairy; Bill Van Camp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren, and Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc.; Jim Wilcox, Northern States Power dba Xcel Energy; Brad Schardin, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; and Darla Rogers and Margo Northrup, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, Northrup LLP, representing Local Exchange Carrier Association.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Jennifer Fyhrie, Otter Tail Power Company; Alan Peterson, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz & Lebrun P.C., representing Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Marc Al, representing Legumex Walker, Inc.; Meredith Moore, Cutler and Donahoe, LLP, representing PaeTec Communications, Inc. and McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, L.L.C.; Kathy Ford, Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz, and Smith, LLP, representing Midcontinent Communications; Gary Leistico, Rinke Noonan Law Firm, representing Anderson Seed Co. Inc.; Jo Shotwell, CHR Solutions; and Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes, and Thompson, representing Jeff Bush.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Ad Hoc Commission Meeting Held on March 9, 2012 (Staff: Joy Irving)

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the minutes of the Ad Hoc Commission Meeting held on March 9, 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 69 contacts since the last report was prepared for the March 13, 2012 Commission meeting.

13 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 18 of the contacts involved electrical services, 8 contacts involved natural gas service, 4 contacts involved cell phone service, 19 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry and 7 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

465 of the 486 complaints received in 2012 have been resolved.

2,759 of the 2,760 complaints received in 2011 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL11-025     In the Matter of the Complaint by Northern States Power dba Xcel Energy against Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. for a Violation of the Service Territory Laws (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding Northern States Power dba Xcel Energy against Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. for a Violation of the Service Territory Laws a recording of which can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2012, March 27, 2012, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/Archives/2012/default.aspx.

     Chairman Nelson moved that the territory boundary in Section 12 of Township 100 North, Range 50 West shall remain as approved in Docket EL09-021, that the territory boundary in question in Section 7 of Township 100 North, Range 49 West shall be the territory boundary as proposed by Xcel as reflected on Map No. 3 attached to its letter to the Commission filed on March 12, 2012, and that Xcel shall reimburse Southeastern for its actual expenditures on facilities such as conduits and stubs  installed in the Xcel portion of the territory that will not be able to be used by Southeastern. Motion carried 2-1. Commissioner Hanson dissented. 

2.     EL12-017     In the Matter of the Petition of Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of its Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Matthew Tysdal, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye) 

Mr. Ryan Soye, staff attorney, stated staff has reviewed the revisions and recommended approval of the tariff revisions, with the stipulation that the effective date be updated to March 27, 2012, to conform to the approval date by the Commission, and that Otter Tail make a compliance filing to update this effective date on the tariff pages. 

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the tariff revisions with the condition recommended by staff. Motion carried 3-0.

Grain

     Commissioner Hanson recused himself from docket GW12-001 due to a potential appearance of conflict of interest.

1.     GW12-001     In the Matter of Anderson Seed Co. Inc.'s Grain Buyer's License (Staff Analyst: Jim Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler) 

A lengthy discussion took place regarding reconsideration of that portion of the Commissions March 13, 2012, Order regarding receivership over Anderson Seed Co. Inc. assets and recently transferred assets, a recording of which can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2012, March 27, 2012, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/Archives/2012/default.aspx.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant the motion to reconsider its March 13, 2012, Order regarding receivership over Anderson Seed Co. Inc. assets and recently transferred assets. Motion carried 2-0.

     The Commission then took action on reconsideration on Commissioner Nelson's motion made at the March 13, 2012, meeting to seek receivership over Anderson Seed Co. Inc. assets and recently transferred assets. Motion failed 2-0.

Pipeline Safety

1.     PS12-001     In the Matter of the Filing by Commission Pipeline Safety Staff regarding an Inspector Incident Investigation on the Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.'s System (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem, Joshua Williams, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Josh Williams, staff analyst, recapped the events of the February 10, 2012 incident. There were no injuries or deaths, but the estimated damage was $100,000.00 – $250,000.00 which makes the incident reportable.  Mr. Williams agrees with MDU's determination that this is a one-off event and that no further action should be taken.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to accept the Incident Report and inspector's recommendations. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC11-101     In the Matter of the Filing by Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (LECA) for Approval of its Access Services Tariff 1 (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
        
A lengthy discussion took place regarding the filing by Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (LECA) for Approval of its Access Services Tariff 1, a recording of which can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2012, March 27, 2012, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/Archives/2012/default.aspx.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the tariff revisions. Motion carried 3-0.

ADDENDUM TO THE
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING

1.     TC12-016     In the Matter of the Complaint and request for Declaratory Ruling filed by Midcontinent Communications Against PaeTec Communications, Inc. and McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, L.L.C. regarding the Delivery of Telecommunications Traffic and Payment for such Traffic (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Kathy Ford, representing Midcontinent Communications, stated that the parties resolved the dispute and asked that the Commission to dismiss the docket. Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, stated staff supports Midcontinent's request to Dismiss with Prejudice and close the docket. 

     Commission Fiegen moved to grant the Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice and close the docket. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC12-027     In the Matter of the Joint Application of the South Dakota Telecommunications Association, the Local Exchange Carriers Association and Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC for Waiver of ARSD §§ 20:10:29:10, 20:10:29:12 and 20:10:29:16 (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Bill Van Camp, representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest, asked the Commission to grant AT&T intervention to be a part of the process of this docket. Ms. Darla Rogers, representing LECA, and on behalf of SDTA, stated LECA and SDTA did not object to the intervention. Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, stated CenturyLink filed and had no objection to the intervention and staff recommended intervention.

     Commission Nelson moved to grant intervention to AT&T Communications of the Midwest. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 12:06 p.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned. The next Commission meeting is scheduled for April 10, 2012.

 

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
March 27, 2012