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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
April 9, 2013, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
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 Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, David Jacobson, Matthew Tysdal, Darren Kearney, Jason Simmons, and David Henry; and Staff: Sherry Dickerson

Also present were:
Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; Margo Northrup and Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing Midstate Telecom and South Dakota Network; Kari Valley, Tom Kramer, Laura McCarten, and Deb Paulson, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Scott Swier, Swier Law Firm Prof LLC, representing Native American Telecom; Lyle Jack and Joe Red Cloud, Oglala Sioux Tribe; Jeff Hollabeck, Native American Telecom; Bob Mercer, Reporter; Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson, representing True Wireless, LLC, Otter Tail Power Company, and Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy;  Scott Knudson, Briggs and Morgan PA, representing Sprint Communications; Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications Corp.; and Tom Tobin, Tobin Law Offices PC

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Commissioner: Kristie Fiegen; Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds and Jon Thurber; Bob Towers, Dave Peterson, and Basil Copeland, Chesapeake Regulatory Consultants Inc., representing SD Public Utilities Commission; Dean Palowski and Jennifer Smedstad, Otter Tail Power Co.; Joe Samuel, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Jim Smith and Adam Shoemaker, True Wireless, LLC; Ryan Taylor, Cutler and Donahoe, LLP; and Jeff Carmon, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC.

(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on February 26, 2013, and March 26, 2013, and the Ad Hoc Commission Meeting held on March 29, 2013 (Staff: Joy Irving)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the Ad Hoc Commission Meeting held on March 29, 2013. 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 67 contacts since the last report was prepared for the March 26, 2013 Commission meeting.

8 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 23 of the contacts involved electrical services, 7 contacts involved natural gas service, 2 contacts involved gas and electric service, 6 contacts involved cell phone service, 7 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 1 contact was related to One Call and 13 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

467 of the 497 complaints received in 2013 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL12-046     In the Matter of the Application of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Authority to Increase its Electric Rates (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, David Jacobson, Patrick Steffensen, Matthew Tysdal, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL12-046.  An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2013, April 9, 2013, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2013/puc04092013.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant the Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Stipulation and approve the terms and conditions stipulated therein, and approve the interim rate refund plan. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL12-063     In the Matter of the Petition of Otter Tail Power Company for Order Accepting Certification of Permit Issued in Docket EL06-002 to Construct Big Stone Transmission Line and Substations in Grant and Deuel Counties (Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds, Matthew Tysdal, Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Kristen Edwards)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL12-063.  An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2013, April 9, 2013, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2013/puc04092013.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant the Withdrawal filed by the City of Gary. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant the Joint Motion for Approval of Stipulation and adoption of the attached Stipulation of the Terms and Conditions with a modification for two typographical errors and the Certification is hereby accepted as conforming to SDCL 49-41B-27. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC10-026     In the Matter of a Complaint Filed by Sprint Communications Company, LP Against Native American Telecom, LLC Regarding Telecommunications Services (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket TC10-026.  An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2013, April 9, 2013, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2013/puc04092013.mp3.

2.     TC12-092     In the Matter of the Application of True Wireless LLC for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (Staff Analyst: David Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson, representing True Wireless, LLC (True Wireless), asked that the Commission grant approval to True Wireless' Notice of Withdrawal of its Application. Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission dismiss and close the docket without prejudice.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant True Wireless' Notice of Withdrawal of Application without prejudice. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC12-133     In the Matter of the Petition of Midstate Telecom for Approval of its Cost Based Switched Access Rates and for a Phase-In (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, requested that the Commission suspend the revised tariff pages an additional 60 days. Mr. Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications Corp., and Ms. Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing Midstate Telecom, did not object to staffs' request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved, pursuant to SDCL 49-31-12.4, to suspend the tariff for an additional 60 days. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     TC13-025     In the Matter of the Approval of an Intercarrier Compensation Bill and Keep Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Cellco Partnership dba Verizon Wireless; Cellular Inc. Network Corporation dba Verizon Wireless; Cellular, Inc. Financial Corporation dba Verizon Wireless; Midwest Wireless Communications, LLC dba Verizon Wireless; Rural Cellular Corporation dba Verizon Wireless; Verizon Wireless (VAW) LLC dba Verizon Wireless; WWC Holding Co., Inc. dba Verizon Wireless and Santel Communications, Cooperative (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing Santel Communications, asked that the Commission approve the amendment to the interconnection agreement. Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the amendment.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the amendment to the interconnection agreement. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     TC13-026     In the Matter of Study Area Boundaries for Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (Commission Attorney: Rolayne Wiest)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket TC13-026.  An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2013, April 9, 2013, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2013/puc04092013.mp3.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to provide certification of study area boundary data to the FCC for all of the ILECs located in the state and that ILECs shall submit their study area maps to the Commission on or before May 17, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

     There being no further business, at the hour of 1:13 p.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

 

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
April 9, 2013