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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
July 5, 2017, at 1:30 P.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairperson Kristie Fiegen called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioners: Gary Hanson and Chris Nelson; Commission Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Adam de Hueck; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Amanda Reiss and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson, Darren Kearney, Joseph Rezac, Jon Thurber, Brittany Mehlhaff, and Lorena Reichert; and Staff: Katlyn Gustafson.

Present were:
Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc., South Dakota Rural Electric Association and Valley Telecommunications Cooperative Association; Gordon Woods, South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company; and Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes and Thompson, LLP, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Mary Zanter, SD PUC Pipeline Safety Manager; Dave Semerad, West River Electric Association, Inc.; Jason Topp, Brett Bode and Mark Brinton, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Jesse Sorenson, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy; Marlene Bennett, Consortia Consulting representing Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc.; Pat Mastel, Midcontinent Communications; Ted Smith, Sioux Valley Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. dba Sioux Valley Energy; Steve Kolbeck and Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Andrew Moratzka, Stoel Rives LLP, representing South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company; and Josh Sanders and Tamie Aberle, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.

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

Administration

1.     Approval of the minutes of the Commission meeting held on June 16, 2017, and the Ad Hoc meeting held on June 23, 2017. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on June 16, 2017, and the Ad Hoc meeting held on June 23, 2017. 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 80 contacts since the last report was prepared for the June 23, 2017, Commission meeting.

Six contacts involved telecommunication services, 27 contacts involved electrical services, six contacts were related to natural gas services, one contact was related to gas and electric service, 10 contacts were related to wireless service, six contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, one contact was related to Dakota Access Pipeline, one contact was related to One Call and 22 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

Complaints received in 2014: 1,914 of the 1,916 have been resolved.

Complaints received in 2017: 884 of the 900 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL17-020     In the Matter of the Joint Request for an Electric Service Territory Boundary Change between Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy and Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. dba Sioux Valley Energy (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy and Mr. Ted Smith, Sioux Valley Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. dba Sioux Valley Energy, did not object to Ronning Enterprises, Inc.’s request to withdraw its petition to intervene. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve the rescission and approve Ronning Enterprises, Inc.’s request to withdraw its petition to intervene.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the rescission and to approve Ronning Enterprises, Inc.’s request to withdraw its petition to intervene. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL17-024     In the Matter of the Commission Approval of Stray Voltage Training Programs (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing South Dakota Rural Electric Association (SDREA), asked that the Commission approve intervention to SDREA. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, stated staff did not object to SDREA’s request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant intervention to the South Dakota Rural Electric Association. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL17-025     In the Matter of the Joint Request for Service Rights Exception between Black Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. and West River Electric Association, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jesse Sorenson, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hill Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BHEC), asked that the Commission approve the requested service rights exception between BHEC and West River Electric Association, Inc (WREA). Mr. Dave Semerad, WREA, did not object to the request. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the service rights exception.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the requested service rights exception between Black Hill Electric Cooperative, Inc. and West River Electric Association, Inc. Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG17-008     In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Approval of Tariff Revisions regarding Excess Flow Valves for Existing Service Lines (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards) 

Mr. Josh Sanders, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.’s (MDU), asked that the Commission approve MDU’s tariff revisions. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve MDU’s request effective July 5, 2017.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the proposed tariff revisions effective July 5, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     NG17-009     In the Matter of the Application of South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company for Authority to Increase its Natural Gas Rates (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes and Thompson, LLP, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), asked that the Commission approve MDU’s intervention. Mr. Andrew Moratzka, Stoel Rives LLP, representing South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company (SDIP), stated SDIP did not object to the intervention or filing fee. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant MDU’s intervention and assess the filing fee.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant intervention to Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and assess a filing fee for actual expenses related to the general rate case, including costs incurred in NG16-006, not to exceed $250,000. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC17-005     In the Matter of the Application of Midcontinent Communications for an Amended Certificate of Authority and for a Waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:15 (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

     Chairperson Fiegen deferred docket TC17-005 until the next Commission meeting.

2.     TC17-016     In the Matter of the Filing by Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC for Approval of Revisions to its Access Service Tariff (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC (CenturyLink), asked that the Commission approve the tariff revisions with an effective date of July 1, 2017. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve CenturyLink’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed tariff revisions effective July 1, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC17-017     In the Matter of the Filing by Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (LECA) for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing Local Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (LECA), asked that the Commission approve LECA’s tariff revisions with an effective date of July 1, 2017. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve LECA’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the revisions to LECA’s Access Services Tariff No. 1 effective July 1, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     TC17-019     In the Matter of the Approval of a Wireline Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Native American Telecom, LLC (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC (CenturyLink), asked that the Commission approve the Wireline Interconnection Agreement between CenturyLink and Native American Telecom, LLC. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, stated that the agreement was properly filed, properly executed, and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions, and no comments were filed. Ms. Reiss recommended that the Commission grant approval.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the Interconnection Agreement. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     TC17-020     In the Matter of the Request of Northeast Nebraska Telephone Company, Study Area: 371576 for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Joseph Rezac, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant the waiver for one year and provide a certification to the Federal Communications Commission and to the Universal Service Administration Company regarding the use of Federal Universal Service Support.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the waiver for one year and provide a certification to the Federal Communications Commission and to the Universal Service Administration Company regarding the use of Federal Universal Service Support. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 2:03 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
PUC Email
July 5, 2017