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196.85(3) (3) If any public utility, sewerage system, joint local water authority, or power district is billed under sub. (1), (2), or (2e) and fails to pay the bill within 30 days or fails to file objections to the bill with the commission, as provided in sub. (4), the commission shall transmit to the secretary of administration a certified copy of the bill, together with notice of failure to pay the bill, and on the same day the commission shall mail by registered mail to the public utility, sewerage system, joint local water authority, or power district a copy of the notice that it has transmitted to the state treasurer. Within 10 days after receipt of the notice and certified copy of the bill, the secretary of administration shall levy the amount stated on the bill to be due, with interest, by distress and sale of any property, including stocks, securities, bank accounts, evidences of debt, and accounts receivable belonging to the delinquent public utility, sewerage system, joint local water authority, or power district. The levy by distress and sale shall be governed by s. 74.10, 1985 stats., except that it shall be made by the secretary of administration and that goods and chattels anywhere within the state may be levied upon.
196.85(4) (4)
196.85(4)(a)(a) Within 30 days after the date of the mailing of any bill under sub. (1), (2), or (2e), the public utility, sewerage system, joint local water authority, or power district that has been billed may file with the commission objections setting out in detail the grounds upon which the objector regards the bill to be excessive, erroneous, unlawful, or invalid. The commission, after notice to the objector, shall hold a hearing upon the objections, from 5 to 10 days after providing the notice. If after the hearing the commission finds any part of the bill to be excessive, erroneous, unlawful, or invalid, it shall record its findings upon its minutes and transmit to the objector by registered mail an amended bill, in accordance with the findings. The amended bill shall have the same force and effect under this section as an original bill rendered under sub. (1), (2), or (2e).
196.85(4)(b) (b) If after such hearing the commission finds the entire bill unlawful or invalid it shall notify the objector by registered mail of such determination, in which case said original bill shall be deemed null and void.
196.85(4)(c) (c) If after such hearing the commission finds that the bill as rendered is neither excessive, erroneous, unlawful or invalid either in whole or in part it shall record such findings upon its minutes, and transmit to the objector by registered mail notice of such finding.
196.85(4)(d) (d) If any bill against which objections have been filed is not paid within 10 days after notice of a finding that the objections have been overruled and disallowed by the commission has been mailed to the objector as provided in this subsection, the commission shall give notice of the delinquency to the secretary of administration and to the objector, in the manner provided in sub. (3). The secretary of administration shall then proceed to collect the amount of the delinquent bill as provided in sub. (3). If an amended bill is not paid within 10 days after a copy of the amended bill is mailed to the objector by registered mail, the commission shall notify the secretary of administration and the objector as in the case of delinquency in the payment of an original bill. The secretary of administration shall then proceed to collect the amount of the amended bill as provided in the case of an original bill.
196.85(5) (5) No suit or proceeding may be maintained in any court to restrain or delay the collection or payment of any bill rendered under sub. (1), (2), or (2e). Every public utility, sewerage system, joint local water authority, or power district that is billed shall pay the amount of the bill, and after payment may in the manner provided under this section, at any time within 2 years from the date the payment was made, sue the state to recover the amount paid plus interest from the date of payment, upon the ground that the assessment was excessive, erroneous, unlawful, or invalid in whole or in part. If the court finds that any part of the bill for which payment was made was excessive, erroneous, unlawful, or invalid, the secretary of administration shall make a refund to the claimant as directed by the court. The refund shall be charged to the appropriations to the commission.
196.85(6) (6) No action for recovery of any amount paid pursuant to this section shall be maintained in any court unless objections have been filed with the commission as herein provided. In any action for recovery of any payments made under this section the claimant shall be entitled to raise every relevant issue of law, but the commission's findings of fact made pursuant to this section shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated.
196.85(7) (7) The following shall be deemed to be findings of fact of the commission, within the meaning of this section:
196.85(7)(a)(a) Determinations of fact expressed in bills rendered pursuant to this section; (b) determinations of fact set out in those minutes of the commission which record the action of the commission in passing upon said bills, and in passing upon objections thereto.
196.85(8) (8) The procedure by this section providing for determining the lawfulness of bills and the recovery back of payments made pursuant to such bills shall be exclusive of all other remedies and procedures.
196.85 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. PSC 5, Wis. adm. code.
196.85 Note NOTE: 2005 Wis. Act 347, which affected this section, contains extensive explanatory notes.
196.85 Annotation Revenue from "intrastate operations" under sub. (2) includes revenue from interstate telecommunications originating within the state. MCI Telecommunications Corp. v. State, 209 Wis. 2d 310, 562 N.W.2d 594 (1997), 95-0915.
196.855 196.855 Assessment of costs against municipalities. Any expense incurred by the commission in making any appraisal or investigation of public utility property under ch. 197 shall be charged directly to the municipality making the application. The commission shall ascertain the expense, and shall render and review any bill under s. 196.85 insofar as applicable. For the purpose of calculating the expense, 90% of the costs determined shall be costs of the commission and 10% of the costs determined shall be costs of state government operations. If a bill under this section is not paid within the time required by s. 196.85, the bill shall bear interest at the rate of 6% per year and the amount of the bill and the interest shall be certified to the department of administration and shall be levied and collected as a special charge in the same manner as a state tax.
196.855 History History: 1979 c. 110 s. 60 (13); 1983 a. 53; 1991 a. 269.
196.857 196.857 Stray voltage program.
196.857(1g) (1g) Program elements.
196.857(1g)(a)(a) The commission shall establish and administer a stray voltage program. The program shall focus on regulation, education, inspection and investigation relating to stray voltage.
196.857(1g)(b) (b) The commission shall identify standardized test procedures check lists and equipment to be used by public utilities to investigate stray voltage. The commission may audit the results of investigations.
196.857(1g)(c) (c) The commission shall conduct classroom and on-farm stray voltage training sessions for public utilities, cooperatives, electricians or other interested parties.
196.857(1g)(d) (d) The commission shall conduct unannounced spot checks of on-farm stray voltage testing done by public utilities if the farmer gives permission for the check at the time the farm is visited. The commission may inspect the operation of public utility stray voltage programs to ensure that proper equipment and procedures are being used and to ensure that investigators are properly trained.
196.857(1g)(e) (e) In cooperation with the department of agriculture, trade and consumer protection, the commission shall investigate the causes of stray voltage on individual farms, recommend to farmers solutions to stray voltage problems and evaluate the effectiveness of on-site technical assistance.
196.857(1m) (1m)Assessments. The commission shall assess annually all of the following amounts to public utilities which produce electricity and which have annual gross operating revenues related to electricity in excess of $100,000,000 in proportion to their respective electric gross operating revenues during the last calendar year, derived from intrastate operations:
196.857(1m)(a) (a) The amount appropriated under s. 20.155 (1) (L), less any amount received under s. 20.155 (1) (Lb) and less any fees received under sub. (2k) and credited to the appropriation under s. 20.155 (1) (L). The amounts received under this paragraph shall be credited to the appropriation made in s. 20.155 (1) (L).
196.857(1m)(b) (b) The amount appropriated under s. 20.115 (3) (j), less any fees received from farmers under sub. (2g) and credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.115 (3) (j). The amounts received under this paragraph shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.115 (3) (j).
196.857(2) (2)Due date. A public utility shall pay the total amount that it is assessed under sub. (1m) within 30 days after it receives a bill for that amount from the commission. The bill constitutes notice of the assessment and demand of payment.
196.857(2g) (2g)Farm services fees. The commission may charge reasonable fees not to exceed $300 per farm for services provided to farmers under this section. The fees shall be in accordance with a standardized schedule of fees established by the commission by rule. The fees collected under this subsection shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.115 (3) (j) in each fiscal year.
196.857(2k) (2k)Other services fees. The commission may charge a reasonable fee for services, other than on-farm site-related services, provided under this section. The fee may not exceed the actual costs of the services. The fees collected under this subsection shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.155 (1) (L) in each fiscal year.
196.857(2m) (2m)Additional investigations. If the commission, at the request of an electric cooperative organized under ch. 185 or any public utility which is not assessed under sub. (1m), conducts an investigation of the causes of stray voltage on any farm receiving electrical service from that electric cooperative or public utility, that electric cooperative or public utility shall pay reasonable fees assessed by the commission in accordance with a standardized schedule of fees established by the commission by rule. The amounts received under this subsection shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.155 (1) (L).
196.857 History History: 1987 a. 27, 399; 1991 a. 39; 1993 a. 16; 1995 a. 27; 1997 a. 27, 35.
196.857 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also s. PSC 113.0506, Wis. adm. code.
196.857 Annotation PSC findings under this section regarding the level of traditional stray voltage that can harm cows did not prevent plaintiff farmers' alternative theory at trial that non-traditional stray voltage was harming their dairy herd and that traditional stray voltage is not the only kind of electrical current that can harm animals. Hoffmann v. Wisconsin Electric Power Co. 2003 WI 64, 262 Wis. 2d 264, 664 N.W.2d 55, 00-2703.
196.858 196.858 Assessment for telephone relay service.
196.858(1)(1) The commission shall annually assess against local exchange and interexchange telecommunications utilities the total, not to exceed $5,000,000, of the amounts appropriated under s. 20.505 (1) (ir).
196.858(2) (2) The commission shall assess a sum equal to the annual total amount under sub. (1) to local exchange and interexchange telecommunications utilities in proportion to their gross operating revenues during the last calendar year. If total expenditures for telephone relay service exceeded the payment made under this section in the prior year, the commission shall charge the remainder to assessed telecommunications utilities in proportion to their gross operating revenues during the last calendar year. A telecommunications utility shall pay the assessment within 30 days after the bill has been mailed to the assessed telecommunication utility. The bill constitutes notice of the assessment and demand of payment. Payments shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.505 (1) (ir).
196.858(3) (3)Section 196.85 (3) to (8), as it applies to assessments under s. 196.85 (1) or (2), applies to assessments under this section.
196.858(5) (5) A telecommunications utility may not recover the assessment under this section by billing a customer for the assessment on a separate line in a billing statement.
196.858 History History: 1989 a. 336; 1991 a. 39; 2001 a. 16; 2003 a. 33.
196.859 196.859 Assessment for telecommunications utility trade practices.
196.859(1)(1) The commission shall annually assess against telecommunications utilities the total of the amount appropriated under s. 20.115 (1) (jm).
196.859(2) (2) The commission shall assess a sum equal to the annual total amount under sub. (1) to telecommunications utilities in proportion to their gross operating revenues during the last calendar year. A telecommunications utility shall pay the assessment within 30 days after the bill has been mailed to the assessed telecommunications utility. The bill constitutes notice of the assessment and demand of payment. Payments shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.115 (1) (jm).
196.859(3) (3)Section 196.85 (3) to (8), as it applies to assessments under s. 196.85 (1) or (2), applies to assessments under this section.
196.859(4) (4) A telecommunications utility may not recover the assessment under this section by billing a customer for the assessment on a separate line in a billing statement.
196.859 History History: 2009 a. 28.
196.86 196.86 Assessments for air quality improvement program.
196.86(1)(1) In this section:
196.86(1)(a) (a) "Department" means the department of natural resources.
196.86(1)(b) (b) "Electric public utility affiliate" means a public utility affiliate, as defined in s. 196.795 (1) (L), that sells electricity in this state and owns electric generating facilities in the transmission area.
196.86(1)(c) (c) "Heat throughput ratio" means the result obtained by dividing the total heat throughput of all electric generating facilities that use fossil fuel of an individual electric public utility affiliate by the total heat throughput of all electric generating facilities that use fossil fuel of all electric public utility affiliates.
196.86(1)(d) (d) "Initial compliance date" means the date specified in a notice by the department of natural resources under s. 285.48 (2) by which electric generating facilities in the midcontinent area of this state are required to comply with initial nitrogen oxide emission reduction requirements.
196.86(1)(e) (e) "Midcontinent area" has the meaning given in s. 16.958 (1) (e).
196.86(1)(f) (f) "Transmission area" has the meaning given in s. 196.485 (1) (g).
196.86(2) (2) If the department of natural resources makes a notification to the commission under s. 285.48 (2), the commission shall assess against electric public utility affiliates a total of $2,400,000, or a decreased amount specified in a notice by the department of natural resources under s. 285.48 (3) (d) 3., in each fiscal year of the 10-year period that commences on July 1 of the fiscal year ending before the initial compliance date. An assessment in a fiscal year against an electric public utility affiliate under this subsection shall be in an amount that is proportionate to the electric public utility affiliate's heat throughput ratio for the prior fiscal year.
196.86(3) (3) An electric public utility affiliate shall pay an assessment required under sub. (2) within 30 days after the commission has mailed a bill for the assessment. The bill constitutes notice of the assessment and demand of payment. Payments shall be deposited in the air quality improvement fund.
196.86(4) (4)Section 196.85 (3) to (8), as it applies to assessments under s. 196.85 (1) or (2), applies to assessments under this section.
196.86 History History: 1999 a. 9, 75, 185.
196.91 196.91 Acquisition of existing dams.
196.91(1) (1) Except as provided under s. 196.92 (3) (c), every domestic corporation lawfully engaged in the business of producing, transmitting, delivering or furnishing heat, light, water or power to or for the public may acquire, for the purpose of developing power and generating energy for public use in the business:
196.91(1)(a) (a) Any dam in or across any navigable waters of this state.
196.91(1)(b) (b) All flowage and other rights and property necessary to the maintenance of any dam under par. (a).
196.91(1)(c) (c) Any undeveloped water power or dam site upon any navigable waters within this state, except as provided under sub. (2).
196.91(2) (2) No award in any condemnation proceedings authorized by sub. (1) shall be effective, and no corporation may purchase or otherwise acquire any property under sub. (1) until it obtains from the commission a certificate that public convenience and necessity require the acquisition of the property, at the amount fixed by the award or agreed upon with the owner of the property.
196.91 History History: 1983 a. 53; 1985 a. 187.
196.92 196.92 Procedure for acquiring dams.
196.92(1) (1) If a corporation under s. 196.91 (1) desires to purchase or acquire any property under s. 196.91, the corporation shall apply to the commission for a certificate of public convenience and necessity. The application shall state:
196.92(1)(a) (a) The name of any owner of the property sought to be acquired.
196.92(1)(b) (b) The business in connection with which it is desired to utilize the property.
196.92(1)(c) (c) The specific public purpose for which it is proposed to use the property.
196.92(1)(d) (d) The compensation or price to be paid for the property.
196.92(1)(e) (e) A statement to the effect that the corporation agrees to cancel all contracts for the sale of hydroelectric power outside this state, if the commission finds that the contract interferes with adequate service and reasonable rates to the people of this state.
196.92(1)(f) (f) Any other information the commission requires.
196.92(2) (2) If the commission receives an application under sub. (1), the commission shall fix a convenient time and place for a public hearing on the application. The time may not be more than 8 weeks from the date of filing the application. The commission shall give notice of the time and place to the applicant. Prior to the hearing the applicant shall publish the time and place as a class 3 notice, under ch. 985. Not less than 20 days prior to that date, the applicant shall serve notice of the hearing upon any owner of the property personally, or by registered mail, if the post-office address of the owner, by due diligence, can be ascertained. Proof of the publication and service of the notice shall be filed with the commission.
196.92(3) (3)
196.92(3)(a)(a) At a hearing under this section or any adjournment of the hearing, the commission shall consider the application and shall receive the evidence offered by the applicant and any other person for or against the application.
196.92(3)(b) (b) The commission may issue a certificate that public convenience and necessity require the utilization of the property as proposed by the applicant if the commission finds that:
196.92(3)(b)1. 1. The acquisition and use of the property in connection with the business of the applicant for the purpose or purposes and at the price or compensation set forth in the application would be a public convenience;
196.92(3)(b)2. 2. The applicant possesses the financial ability to utilize the property for its proposed purpose; and
196.92(3)(b)3. 3. Public necessity requires the proposed acquisition and use.
196.92(3)(c) (c) Section 196.91 shall not apply to the acquisition of flowage rights necessary for the improvement or development of dams or dam sites previously acquired.
196.92 History History: 1983 a. 53 ss. 109 to 111, 113.
196.975 196.975 Local access and transport area boundaries.
196.975(1g)(1g) In this section, "consumer" means a person billed for one or more local telecommunications service access lines not to exceed one person per access line. A person billed for more than one access line may not be considered a consumer for each access line for which he or she is billed.
196.975(1r) (1r) One hundred fifty or more consumers who are residents of the same local exchange area for telecommunications service may file with the commission a petition requesting that commission staff, in cooperation with the affected telecommunications utilities and telecommunications carriers, petition the appropriate federal district court to include their local exchange area in a different local access and transport area. The petitioners shall include with the petition information explaining why the current boundaries of the local access and transport area which includes their local exchange area does not adequately reflect areas of common social, economic and other concerns.
196.975(2) (2) After receiving a petition under sub. (1r), the commission shall schedule a public hearing, to be held in the local exchange area of the petitioners, serving to receive testimony on the contents of the petition and any other matters deemed relevant by the commission. The commission shall publish a class 1 notice under ch. 985 in a newspaper serving the local exchange area at least 20 days prior to the hearing.
196.975(3) (3) If, after the hearing under sub. (2), the commission determines that there is sufficient evidence that current boundaries of the local access and transport area does not adequately reflect areas of common social, economic and other concerns and that there is substantial public support within the local exchange area to include the area in a different local access and transport area, the commission shall direct its staff, in cooperation with the affected telecommunications utilities and telecommunications carriers to petition the appropriate federal district court to revise the local access and transport area boundaries. All of the commission's expenses of petitioning the federal court shall be paid by the commission from its appropriation under s. 20.155 (1) (g).
196.975 History History: 1985 a. 297; 1993 a. 496; 2011 a. 22.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated though 2013 Wis. Act 200 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before April 11, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after April 11, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 4-11-14)