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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
April 07, 2009, at 9:30 A.M.
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota


Commissioner Gary Hanson called the meeting to order.  Present were: Executive Director Patty Van Gerpen; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Commission Attorneys John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Staff Attorneys Kara Semmler and Karen Cremer; Staff Analysts Dave Jacobson, Bob Knadle, Tim Binder, Brian Rounds and Jon Thurber; Consumer Affairs Supervisor Deb Gregg; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.

Also present were:  Dave Gerdes, May, Adam, Gerdes and Thompson, representing Buffalo Ridge II LLC a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, representing Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority, South Dakota Rural Electric Association, Sioux Valley Energy and H-D Electric Cooperative; Bob Mercer and Chet Brokaw.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:  Chairman Dustin Johnson; Vice Chairman Steve Kolbeck; Talbot Wiezcorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Goodsell & Nelson, representing Alltel Communications, LLC and Tim Seck, Buffalo Ridge II LLC, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, Inc.


  1. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting held on January 27, 2009. (Staff:  Demaris Axthelm)

          Chairman Johnson moved to approve the Commission Minutes of the January 27, 2009 meeting.  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 134 contacts since the last report was prepared for the March 24, 2009 Commission meeting. 72 contacts involved telecommunications services; 22 contacts involved electrical services; 9 contacts involved natural gas services; 3 contacts involved electrical and natural gas issues; 7 contacts involved cell phone services; 17 contacts involved the Do Not Call Registry; and 4 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission.   In 2009, 729 of the 792 complaints registered have been resolved informally.  In 2008, 2,512 of the 2,513 complaints registered have been resolved informally.   


1.         EL08-031        In the Matter of the Application by Buffalo Ridge II LLC a Subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., for an Energy Conversion Facility Permit for the Construction of the Buffalo Ridge II Wind Farm and Associated Collection Substation and Electric Interconnection System.  (Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds/Stacy Splittstoesser/Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

     See link to view transcript of Docket EL08-031;

            Commissioner Hanson moved in docket EL08-03l that the Commission approve the proposed Settlement and Stipulation Agreement, with the condition that approval will be dependent upon the outcome of the hearing for the nonsettling parties and that with the Stipulation will be no force and effect if the Commission imposes terms or conditions different from those that are agreed to in the Settlement and Stipulation Agreement.  Motion failed 3-0.

         Chairman Johnson moved that the parties review the Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and be prepared to indicate which issues they disagree with so that the other parties and the Commission understand the issues and that if parties have issues in dispute with or beyond the scope of the Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law that they would want the Applicant to address as part of their prima facie case, that they specify in some detail those issues to Buffalo Ridge and the other parties and file them with the Commission by Thursday, April 9, 2009.  Motion passed 3-0.


1.         TC08-122        In the Matter of the Petition of Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority for Arbitration Pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to Resolve Issues Relating to an Interconnection Agreement with Alltel Communications, LLC. (Staff Analysts: Roger Oldenkamp/Jon Thurber, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         Mr. Talbot Wieczorek stated that Alltel Communications, LLC (Alltel) had sent a stipulation proposal to Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Telephone Authority (CRST), but has not received confirmation from CRST as to whether they agree to dates in the stipulation proposal. Ms. Darla Rogers, representing CRST, stated that she had submitted the stipulation proposal to CRST, but has not received a reply from CRST. Ms. Rogers asked that the Commission defer action or continue until such time that she has heard back from CRST.  Mr. Wieczorek stated that he had no objection to proceeding with a deferment.  Karen Cremer stated that Staff agrees with a deferment.

            Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to defer action in Docket TC08-122.  Motion passed 3-0.

2.         TC09-010        In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and 321 Communications, Inc. (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

         Ms. Kara Semmler stated the agreement was properly filed, properly executed and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions.  No comments were filed and Ms. Semmler recommended approval of the interconnection agreement.

         Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the interconnection agreement.  Motion passed 3-0.

         There being no further business, at the hour of 10:30 A.M. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned. Next Commission meeting is scheduled for April 21, 2009.


/S/Demaris Axthelm____
Demaris Axthelm
Administrative Secretary
June 23, 2009