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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
July 31, 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; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Kara Semmler, and Ryan Soye; Staff Analysts: Chris Daugaard, Brian Rounds, Matthew Tysdal, Nathan Solem, Brittany Mehlhaff, David Jacobson, and Patrick Steffensen; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Joy Irving and Sherry Dickerson.

Also present were:
Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes, and Thompson LLP, representing Otter Tail Power Co.; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, and Northrup LLP, representing Local Exchange Carriers Association, (LECA); Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc.; Margo Northrup, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, and Northrup LLP, representing South Dakota Network and Local Exchange Carriers Association; and Jerry Reisenauer, West River Cooperative Telephone Company.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Jennifer Mested, Otter Tail Power Co.; Jo Shotwell, CHR Solutions, Inc., representing Local Exchange Carrier's Association; Pat Knutson, Farmers Mutual Telephone Company; Pat Mastel, OrbitCom, Inc.; Meredith Moore, Cutler & Donahoe LLP, representing Midstate Communications, Inc.; Becky Dooley and Jason Hendricks, RT Communications Inc.; Kim Stumpp, Consortia Consulting, representing Roberts County Telephone Company; Robin Thorsen, Roberts County Telephone Company; Kari Flanagan, Alliance Communications Cooperative, Inc.; Wendy Harper and Doug Eidahl, Vantage Point Solutions, representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC; Robin Norton, Technologies Management, representing BullsEye Telecom, Inc.; Marlene Bennett, Consortia Consulting, representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC; Tamie Aberle, Montana-Dakota Utilities; James Groft, Northern Valley Communications, LLC; Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLC, representing Sprint Communications Company LP, Jim Cremer, Bantz, Gosch, & Cremer, LLC., representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC; Mary Buley, 360networks (USA) inc.; Sharon Thomas, Ymax Communications Corp.; and David Carter, Arent, Fox, LLP, representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on June 19, 2012, and July 3, 2012, and the Ad Hoc Commission Meeting Held on June 26, 2012 (Staff: Joy Irving)

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the minutes of June 19, 2012, and July 3, 2012, and the Ad Hoc Commission Meeting Held on June 26, 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 70 contacts since the last report was prepared for the July 17, 2012 Commission meeting.

13 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 20 of the contacts involved electrical services, 9 contacts involved natural gas service, 7 contacts involved cell phone service, 10 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, and 11 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

1,100 of the 1,142 complaints received in 2012 have been resolved.

Electric

1.    EL12-044     In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Approval of Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Matthew Tysdal, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Ms. Tamie Aberle, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. asked that the Commission defer the docket. Action in the docket was deferred.
        
Gas and Electric

1.     GE12-004     In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Company. for Approval of Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Matthew Tysdal, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer )

Ms. Tamie Aberle, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), requested that the Commission approve its tariff revisions. Ms. Aberle explained the changes to MDU's standard bill form for gas and electric bills and to MDU's Optional Seasonal General Gas Service Rate 72. MDU requested approval by August 1, 2012. Mr. Matthew Tysdal, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval of the tariff revisions.

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

Natural Gas

1.      NG12-004      In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of an Amendment to a Contract with Deviations with Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI) (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy, requested that the Commission approve an Amendment to a Contract with Deviations with Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI). Mr. Decker explained that NorthWestern Energy provides sales service to AMPI with a deviation from the tariffed rate to recover specific pipeline costs. AMPI has contracted for gas supply with a third party and now requests to be served transportation service in lieu of sales service. Mr. David Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval of the contract with deviation amendment and the associated tariff revisions.

      Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed contract with deviation amendment and associated tariff revisions. Motion carried 3-0.

Pipeline Safety

1.      PS12-003      In the Matter of Pipeline Penalty Worksheet Approval (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem, Joshua Williams, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, requested approval of the revised pipeline safety violation penalty worksheet. Ms. Semmler stated that the worksheet was modified pursuant to Commission discussion and operator input.

      Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the pipeline safety violation penalty worksheet. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.      In the Matter of the Request for Certification Regarding the Use of Federal Universal Service Support in Dockets TC12-042, TC12-052, TC12-059, TC12-060, TC12-068, TC12-069, and TC12-075

      TC12-042      In the Matter of the Request of West River Cooperative Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

      TC12-052      In the Matter of the Request of Farmers Mutual Telephone Company for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

      TC12-059      In the Matter of the Request of Midstate Communications, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

      TC12-060      In the Matter of the Request of Midstate Telecom, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

      TC12-068      In the Matter of the Request of RT Communications Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     TC12-069     In the Matter of the Request of Alliance Communications Cooperative, Inc. for Certification Regarding Its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     TC12-075     In the Matter of the Request of Roberts County Telephone Cooperative Association and RC Communications, Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission provide certification to the FCC and USAC.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to provide a certification to the Federal Communications Commission and to the Universal Service Administration Company regarding the plan for the use of Federal Universal Services Support as proposed in each of the above dockets. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC12-040     In the Matter of the Filing by Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, and Northrup LLP, representing Local Exchange Carriers Association, (LECA), asked the Commission to approve the Brookings tariff sheet. Mr. Bill Van Camp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc., (AT&T), requested that the docket be deferred pending further discussion between the parties. As no revised filing had been made, staff recommended that the Commission defer the docket. The docket was deferred.

3.     TC12-054     In the Matter of the Filing OrbitCom, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Pat Mastel, OrbitCom, Inc. (OrbitCom), requested that the Commission approve the revisions to OrbitCom's Access Services Tariff No. 2 to decrease its terminating access charges to comply with the FCC's CAF Order. Mr. David Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval to OrbitCom's Access Services Tariff No. 2.

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

4.     TC12-094     In the Matter of the Filing by Northern Valley Communications, LLC for Approval of Revisions to its Access Service Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Wendy Harper, Vantage Point, representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC (Northern Valley), requested that the Commission dismiss and close the docket. Mr. Chris Daugaard, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission allow Northern Valley withdraw its filing due to the revised Attachment B filed.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to dismiss and close the docket. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     TC12-104     In the Matter of the Filing by Ymax Communications Corp. for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Mr. Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc., (AT&T), requested that the Commission grant intervention and suspend the tariff for 120 days. Ms. Kara Semmler, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant AT&T's intervention and the tariff be suspended for 120 days.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant intervention to AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc. and suspend the tariff for 120 days. Motion carried 3-0.

6.     TC12-105     In the Matter of the Filing by BullsEye Telecom, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney:  Kara Semmler) 

Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, stated staff reviewed BullsEye Telecom, Inc. (BullsEye), tariff revisions for compliance with the transitional terminating switched access rate provisions of the recent FCC order.  Mr. Steffensen explained that BullsEye has elected to use its intrastate rate elements for the transition period and adequately decreased its terminating rate elements to provide the required revenue reduction.  He stated that on July 18th, BullsEye requested waivers from the specific provisions in rules ARSD 20:10:29:10, 20:10:29:12, and 20:10:29:16 that state "the per minute charge is equal for both originating and terminating traffic."  Mr. Steffensen recommended approval of the waivers from those specific rule provisions and approval of the tariff revisions with a July 3, 2012 effective date. Ms. Sharon Thomas, YMax Communications, requested approval of its tariff revisions.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the waivers and approve the requested tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

7.     TC12-107     In the Matter of the Filing by 360networks (USA) inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Mary Buley, 360networks (USA) inc. (360), requested that the Commission approve its revisions to its switched exchange access tariff, South Dakota P.S.C. Tariff No. 1. Mr. David Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the filing and grant a waiver of ARSD 20:10:29:10, 20:10:29:12, and 20:10:29:16.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the proposed tariff revisions and to grant waivers ARSD 20:10:29:10, 20:10:29:12, and 20:10:29:16.  Motion carried 3-0.

8.     TC12-110     In the Matter of the Filing by FiberComm, L.C. for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

Ms. Marlene Bennett, Consortia Consulting, representing FiberComm, L.C. (FiberComm), requested the Commission grant approval to revisions to its Tariff No. 2 for compliance with the transitional terminating switched access rate provisions of the recent FCC order.  Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, stated staff reviewed the FiberComm tariff revisions for compliance with the transitional terminating switched access rate provisions of the recent FCC order.  Mr. Steffensen stated FiberComm has elected to use its interstate access rate elements, while adding a transitional rate element, to provide the required revenue reduction and FiberComm also requested waivers from the specific provisions in rules ARSD 20:10:29:10, 20:10:29:12, and 20:10:29:16 that state "the per minute charge is equal for both originating and terminating traffic."  He recommended approval of the waivers from those specific rule provisions and approval of the tariff revisions with a July 3, 2012 effective date.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the waivers of ARSD 20:10:29:10, 20:10:29:12, and 20:10:29:16 and approve the requested tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

9.     TC12-112     In the Matter of the Filing by McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, L.L.C. dba PAETEC Business Services for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff No. 3 (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. David Jacobson, staff analyst, requested approval of revisions to McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, L.L.C. dba PAETEC Business Services (PAETEC) South Dakota Access Tariff No. 3. Mr. Jacobson stated PAETEC is reducing intrastate terminating switched access rates to the interstate terminating switched access. Mr. Jacobson recommended approval of the filing and to grant waivers of ARSD 20:10:29:10, 20:10:29:12, and 20:10:29:16 with an effective date of July 3, 2012.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed tariff revisions and grant waivers of ARSD 20:10:29:10, 20:10:29:12, and 20:10:29:16. Motion carried 3-0.

10.     TC12-113     In the Matter of the Filing by BullsEye Telecom, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst:  Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney:  Kara Semmler)

Ms. Robin Norton, Technologies Management, representing BullsEye Telecom, Inc. (BullsEye), requested approval of revisions to its South Dakota Access Tariff No. 2. Mr. Patrick Steffensen stated staff reviewed the BullsEye tariff revisions for compliance with the VoIP-PSTN provisions of the recent FCC Order and subsequent Second Order on Reconsideration.  He explained that there were minor clean up issues and BullsEye filed an extremely thorough and well organized revision.  He recommended approval of the tariff revisions with a July 13, 2012 effective date.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed tariff revisions with July 13, 2012 effective date. Motion carried 3-0.

ADDENDUM TO THE
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING

Electric

1.     EL12-045     In the Matter of the Request by Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of Transfer of Construction Permit (Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds, Nathan Solem, Matthew Tysdal, Joshua Williams, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Mr. Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes, and Thompson LLP, representing Otter Tail Power Co., requested that the Commission grant approval of a Motion to Transfer Permit Ownership with the Commission requesting approval pursuant to SDCL 49-41B-29 to transfer the electric transmission Construction Permit granted in Docket EL06-002, from the seven Big Stone II regional utilities, including Otter Tail, to Otter Tail exclusively, recognizing Otter Tail as the sole owner of the permit. Mr. Brian Rounds, staff analyst, stated that staff does not object to Otter Tail's motion as long as the permit is recertified prior to construction.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve Otter Tail's request for the transfer to Otter Tail of the Construction Permit issued to the Big Stone II co-owners in Docket EL06-002. 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

In the Matter of the Third Party Complaint Sprint Communications Company LP against Northern Valley Communications, Inc. and Capital Telephone Company (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
        
A lengthy discussion took place regarding Docket TC09-098. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC Web site under Commission Actions; Commission Meeting Archives; 2012; July 31, 2012, for Docket TC09-098, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/puc07312012.mp3.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant Sprint's Motion to Reschedule the August 28, 2012, Hearing Date. Motion carried 2-1 with Commissioner Nelson dissenting.

There being no further business, at the hour of 11:22 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
July 31, 2012