MINUTES July 13, 2011


Enforcement Panel Members in attendance: Erin Hayes; Dan Kaiser; Gene Solseth; Todd Chambers; Legal Counsel, Kara Semmler; Executive Director, Larry Janes. Also in attendance: Scott Fritz, Otter Tail Power Company. 

OC11-002 – In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Otter Tail Power Company, Fergus Falls, Minnesota, Against Carlson Excavating, Britton, South Dakota 

Otter Tail Power Company alleges that an Otter Tail Power Company Representative arrived at 1523 Vanderhorck Street, Britton, SD at 9:24 AM on May 24, 2011 to perform the locate request. Carlson Excavating had begun digging. This was prior to the start date on the locate ticket as required by SDCL 49-7A-5.

Douglas Carlson, Carlson Excavating, stated in his rebuttal that he has not received a previous complaint and has been doing business as Carlson Construction for approximately 39 years and as Carlson Excavating for over 2 years. He stated that he worked on this site twice last year and that to his knowledge Otter Tail Power Company was not involved at that time. He states that he met with his two crew foremen after receiving notice of the Complaint to discuss this. Before all future excavation work, starting dates will be double checked and all utilities will have responded to One Call Locate requests. Mr. Carlson states that he personally will check every job to make sure before crews start that utilities are marked and starting dates are adhered to.

Larry Janes stated there have been no previous complaints brought before the South Dakota One Call Enforcement Panel against Carlson Excavating.

Dan Kaiser asked about the start time on the locate request.   Kara Semmler mentioned that although the locate ticket number was provided, the Enforcement Panel can only use the actual evidence submitted in the complaint or the rebuttal.

Gene Solseth mentioned that only one violation of SD One Call law was committed. The excavator began work before the start date. Todd Chambers stated that Otter Tail Power Company could provide guidance when these situations arise.

Dan Kaiser made a motion to assess a $500 penalty, with $500 suspended, with the understanding that any future violations of any One Call statute or rule within twelve months may be subject to additional penalties up to a maximum of $5,000. Gene Solseth seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously on a Roll Call Vote.

There being no further business, Gene Solseth made a motion to adjourn. Erin Hayes seconded. Motion passed unanimously on a Roll Call Vote.