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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting

Tuesday, January 15, 2008, at 2:00 P.M.

State Capitol Building, Room 468

Pierre, South Dakota




Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to order.  Present were: Vice Chairman Dusty Johnson; Commissioner Steve Kolbeck; Executive Director Patty Van Gerpen; Deputy Executive Director Heather Forney; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Commission Attorneys John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Staff Attorneys Karen Cremer and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts Harlan Best, Dave Jacobson, Keith Senger, Bob Knadle, and Brian Rounds; Consumer Affairs Supervisor Deb Gregg; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.

Also present were:  Bill Van Camp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers PC, representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest and Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:  Jean Calligan, and Gary Meiners, MidAmerican Energy Company; Bill Heaston, PrairieWave Black Hills, LLC and PrairieWave Telecommunications, Inc; and Meredith Moore, Cutler and Donahoe, representing Reduced Rate Long Distance.


1.)   Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on October 23, 2007, and November 20, 2007. (Staff:  Demaris Axthelm)


Commissioner Kolbeck moved to approve the Commission Minutes of October 23, 2007 and November 20, 2007.  Motion passed 3-0.


Consumer Reports


1.)  Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs:  Deb Gregg)

Ms. Deb Gregg reported that the Commission had received a total of 146 contacts since the last report was prepared for the December 18, 2007 Commission meeting.  30 contacts involved telecommunications services; 27 contacts involved electricity issues; 5 contacts involved natural gas issues; 19 contacts involved cellular phone issues; 29 contacts involved the Do Not Call Registry; and 13 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission.   In 2008, 56 of the 73 complaints registered have been resolved informally.  In 2007, 2,249 of the 2,337 complaints registered have been resolved informally.   

Natural Gas

1.        NG07-022 -   In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions. (Staff Analyst:  Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)


              Ms. Jean Calligan stated that MidAmerican filed an application to remove the tariff language regarding charging customers for the installation of excess flow valves (EFVs).  Ms Calligan further stated that in order to be in compliance with the Federal rule changes for MidAmerican customers that have residential service lines operating at ten pounds per square inch gauge or greater, MidAmerican would install EFVs as a standard construction practice and customers would not be subject to installation or post-installation costs.  Mr. Dave Jacobson stated that the Federal regulation will take effect and recommended that the Commission approve the tariff revisions.  Mr. Gary Meiners, Engineer for MidAmerican, explained to the Commission the purpose and functions of the excess flow valves.

              Vice Chairman Johnson moved to approve the tariff revisions in Docket NG07-022.  Motion passed 3-0.



1.)  TC07-107 -  In the Matter of Unauthorized Long Distance Changes and Unauthorized Telephone Charges Made by Reduced Rates Long Distance. (Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds/Keith Senger/Deb Gregg, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)


              Mr. Bill Heaston stated that PrairieWave has no additional comments.  Ms. Meredith Moore, representing, Reduced Rate Long Distance (Reduced Rate), stated that Reduced Rate has no objections to PrairieWave's intervention.  Mr. Keith Senger stated that Staff recommends granting intervention.

              Commissioner Kolbeck moved to grant intervention to PrairieWave Black Hills, LLC and PrairieWave Telecommunications, Inc in Docket TC07-107.  Motion passed 3-0.

2.)  TC07-118 -  In the Matter of the Filing by PrairieWave Telecommunications, Inc. for an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates. (Staff Analyst:  Harlan Best,  Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)


              Mr. Bill Van Camp stated that AT&T Communications of the Midwest (AT&T) is required to pay the intrastate switched access charges.  PrairieWave is requesting and therefore has direct pecuniary intent in the case.  Mr. Bill Heaston stated that PrairieWave Telecommunications, Inc. (PrairieWave) had no objection to the intervention.  Ms Karen Creamer stated that Staff has no objection to the intervention. 

              Vice Chairman Johnson moved to grant the petition for intervention to AT&T Communications of the Midwest.  Motion passed 3-0.  




1.           Election of a Vice Chairperson of the Commission.   (General Counsel:  John Smith.)

Vice Chairman Johnson nominated Commissioner Kolbeck as Vice Chairman with an effective date of January 16, 2008.  Motion passed 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 2:25 pm the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned.

/s/Demaris Axthelm___________

Demaris Axthelm

Administrative Secretary