April 8, 2019 Regular Meeting

The Lakota City Council held its regular meeting April 8th, 2019, at the City Hall.  Mayor Russo called the meeting to order at 12:09 p.m. All Council Members were present, except Members Vasichek and Rainsberry.  Engineer Brad Muscha and Supt. Zeug were in attendance.  Audience members were Angela Herda, Macy Herda, Josh Nelson and Mark Huso. 

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve the minutes of the March 4th, 2019 regular meeting, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  All voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve the minutes of the March 22nd, 2019 special meeting, seconded by Member Hess.  All voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Auditor Vasichek requested to add approval of schedule of pledges to the agenda.

Mayor Russo recognized Macy Herda.

Ms. Herda stated she is attendance to explain she is on the youth council for the Main Street Initiative and would like the council to entertain the concept of recycling in town.  Ms. Herda stated she believes she could help with fundraising for the service and connect with Devils Lake to help collect recycling bins from our town.  Ms. Herda stated this could be a school project to help coordinate.  Member D. Mattern stated he has concerns with the summer months if the school was to take on this project.  Ms. Herda stated she believes she has enough kids to help throughout the summer months and school year.  Ms. Herda also included that the Juniors and Seniors in the school are required to put in 16-24 hrs in community service in order to graduate.

Mayor Russo stated the city would approve the program if Ms. Herda could coordinate the details going forward.

Mrs. Herda and Ms. Herda left the meeting at 12:21pm

Mayor Russo recognized Mark Huso.  Mr. Huso stated he was in attendance to discuss the upcoming community center lease agreement as it will be expiring soon.  Mr. Huso stated there is a good chance the school will need to co-op with another school for sporting events next year and that could possibly lead to less need of the center for the school.  Mr. Huso stated he would be in favor of a one year agreement for the lease.  Mr. Huso stated there are a few things the school would like to discuss about the lease agreement prior to signing.  Mayor Russo stated the city will need to review the agreement and get back to the school.

Mr. Huso questioned the status of the floor sweeping for the community center.  Auditor Vasichek stated janitor McLean has reviewed all sweeper machines provided to him and he does like the used equipment from the East Grand Forks school.  Auditor Vasichek stated she will review the WSI grant that Supt. Baumgarn wanted to apply for to make sure it includes purchasing used equipment.

Mr. Huso stated the next school board meeting is scheduled for 7pm on 4/10/19.

Mr. Huso left the meeting at 12:29pm.

Mayor Russo recognized Josh Nelson of Nelson Electric  Mr. Nelson stated he was contacted by Auditor Vasichek to help install the new electronic message board outside the city shop and he discovered major issues with the switchgear for the building.  Mr. Nelson stated once he reviewed the switchgear he observed water coming out of the box, exterior holes through the walls and ceiling of the building area it is housed and snow blowing into the building.  Mr. Nelson suggested this to be fixed immediately and estimated the cost of $20,770 which would include converting the switchgear into single phase.  Mr. Nelson stated if the city would like to keep the building with three phase the estimate would be $24,425.

Mayor Russo stated with an estimate this high, he would need to solicit other estimates.

Mr. Nelson suggested the entire council to review the electrical issues at the city chop and offered to show the council the area he is speaking about after the meeting.

Mr. Nelson left the meeting at 12:38pm.



Mayor Russo stated he is still waiting on additional information from the NDLC on a generic version of the proposed ordinance. 

The council requested auditor Vasichek to ask AE2S for suggestions of the water tower logo to include blue or something other than the burgundy color offered.



Member R. Mattern made a motion to appoint Mayor Russo as the MRES representative and Dennis Mattern as the alternate, seconded by Member D. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Mayor Russo recognized Engineer Muscha.

Engineer Muscha provided the council with an agenda for his discussion.  Engineer Muscha stated Knife River has agreed upon the $85,500 amount for past liquidated damages bringing the completion dates to July 24th and July 31st

Member D. Mattern questioned the crack issues of the asphalt.  Engineer Muscha stated reflective cracking is expected in a street project, but there are areas that will need to be reviewed and repaired.  Member D. Mattern stated some mill and overlay areas were not cracked sealed prior and could case issues.

Member D. Mattern stated there is excessive water build up in the street in front of Dean Wall’s residence, worse than before the project.  Member D. Mattern stated the project inspector last year implied the new pavement would help the drainage.  Mayor Russo reminded the council that the street project was not a drainage project, it was to remedy the condition of the streets since it has been 20 years since the last street project.

Supt. Zeug stated there is a large amount of water pooling in front of Bryan Ohlhauser’s property that could be detrimental to the pavement over time.  Engineer Muscha stated he will review that area.

Engineer Muscha stated the areas that were seeded grass with be reviewed and re-seeded if necessary.

Mayor Russo instructed Engineer Muscha to contact Knife River again about properly sweeping the streets this spring.  Mayor Russo stated the city does not want to run its sweeper on the streets with picking up the debris left behind with the project and possibly damaging the equipment.

Supt. Zeug stated A Ave West is showing poor drainage by 6th and 5th street west.

Member R. Mattern questioned when Knife River will be returning.  Engineer Muscha stated he was unsure their timeline due to weather.

Engineer Muscha left the meeting at 1:12pm.

Auditor Vasichek stated the Clubhouse board for the golf course suggested installing keyless entry locks for the cart sheds to better allow access to cart owners when it is locked. 

The council discussed the keyless entry option and declined to change the locks seeing there has been no prior issues with it that they are aware of.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve the security pledges from the State Bank of Lakota, seconded by Member Hess.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.



Supt. Zeug report provided within the council book.

Supt. Zeug stated there was an incident with a resident and employee Burkland on March 30th, 2019.  Supt. Zeug stated after discussion with Member Hess; he had with resident Cory Schuh, employee Burkland and himself write up a report on the incident which have been provided to the council. 


Supt. Zeug stated there was a call of a leaking fire hydrant located at Cory Schuh’s on March 29th at approximately 4:30pm which he and employee Burkland responded to.  Supt. Zeug stated the two could not remedy the situation and employee Burkland volunteered to return to the site the following morning.

Member Hess stated he was contacted by Cory Schuh on March 30th to report that employee Burkland approached his residence smelling of alcohol and was accusing him of tampering with the hydrant.

Member Hess stated he also spoke with Cory and Kenny Schuh after this event and it was discovered that previous to the event in question, employee Burkland was in a city pick-up and drove by Kenny Schuh who was stuck in the slush/frozen street in Lakota and employee Burkland displayed his middle finger directed towards Mr. Schuh.  Member Hess stated there is an apparent personal issue between employee Burkland and the Schuh family.

Mayor Russo suggested requiring employee Burkland to have a drug & alcohol evaluation complete.  Supt. Zeug stated if there is suspicion of alcohol use, the council could require employee Burkland to have the evaluation completed.

Member R. Mattern suggested to have employee Burkland complete an alcohol evaluation by May 1, 2019.  Supt. Zeug questioned what would happen if employee Burkland refused to complete the evaluation.  Mayor Russo stated if employee Burkland refuses the have the evaluation complete by May 1, 2019, he would then be terminated.

Member D. Mattern stated in employee Burkland’s written response to the incident he admitted to consuming alcohol the night before this incident happened, knowing full well he had intentions of going back to work the following day.  Supt. Zeug stated employee Burkland comes to work smelling of alcohol from time to time, but then he will be good for other times.

Member D. Mattern stated he thought employee Burkland should be put on 2 day leave because of this incident.  Member Hess instead suggested 3 day suspension with no pay starting April 9th, 2019.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to have employee Burkland on a 3 day unpaid suspension starting 4/9/19, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Supt. Zeug stated employee Herda will be taking his test for the water certificate in August as the testing group was full at the water school last month.

Mayor Russo requested Supt. Zeug to notify employee Burkland of the decision.

Member D. Mattern questioned the issue with the shut off valve by BNSF west of Main Street as it is sticking up 3 feet from the ground.  Supt. Zeug stated he had hit it with city equipment and will be fixing it soon.

Member D. Mattern questioned what happened to the snow pusher since there is a large dent in it.  Supt. Zeug stated employee Burkland has hit something previously and he as well hit some cement on a high sidewalk when pushing snow.  Member D. Mattern questioned if there was an incident report written.  Supt. Zeug stated there was not.


No additional report provided.


Report provided in the council books. 


Member R. Mattern stated the Nelson County Planning and Zoning met and they approved the Midkota Tower south of town.



Mayor Russo requested to have Member Vasichek review the community center lease contract with the school and include a 1 year lease agreement.

Member D. Mattern questioned if the school is indicating they are releasing the rights to the floor at the community center if they are uninterested in cost sharing the expense of a floor scrubber to maintain their floor.  Mayor Russo instructed Auditor Vasichek to write a letter to the school board asking that question.



Mayor Russo questioned what is to be done with Jayme Tenneson’s building permit request and variance.

Auditor Vasichek stated Jayme Tenneson is requesting a 5 foot south variance for the set backs on his building project.  Auditor Vasichek stated Mr. Tenneson plans on placing the building running North and South and would be encroaching on the set backs with now increasing the size of his building to 100’ X 60’.

Member D. Mattern stated he is fine with the variance, but would like to make it clear that he would suggest the building should not increase in size anymore and to keep the completion date as June 30, 2019.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve a 5’ south variance for Jayme Tenneson’s building project with the stipulation no further increases to the size of the building, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.



Auditor Vasichek’s written report was provided and attached with minutes.

Auditor Vasichek stated Andrew Jorde would like to get more information on utilities for his proposed carwash.  Supt. Zeug stated Mr. Jorde needs to make some decisions on the position of the building prior to giving him information.  Auditor Vasichek asked if Supt. Zeug could meet with Mr. Jorde to discuss the information needed.

Auditor Vasichek stated the golf course sand pits could use some sand on each pit.  Member R. Mattern stated he could check with Monster Lawn on prices of sand.


Council members reviewed the financial and utilities reports.

Member R. Mattern questioned if the city should turn up the electric floor heat at the community center since it is running a large amount of propane.  Supt., Zeug stated he was unsure on the settings of the thermostat.  Employee Burkland stated he has increased the floor heat a couple degrees a week ago and it should help the propane heat.

Supt. Zeug stated he will shut off the propane heat at the community center after today’s meeting.


Attorney Manbeck was not present for a report.

After review of the bills and vouchers, a motion was made by Member D. Mattern to pay all the bills presented for payment and those bills paid prior to the meeting.  Member Hess seconded the motion.  Motion carried on roll call vote of 3-0.


Advanced Auto Parts                                        $           84.78

Advanced Business Methods                             $         281.00

Aflac                                                               $         293.18

Agcom                                                             $         237.24

Ameripride Services                                         $           43.21

At&t                                                                $         531.32

BND                                                                $         977.99

BCBS                                                               $      4,276.80

Blue Tarp Financial                                          $           13.80

Border States                                                    $         110.64

Brent’s Service                                                 $             3.75

Cardmember Service                                        $           15.89

CMS                                                                $         197.45

EFTPS                                                              $       1,983.84

EFTPS                                                              $       2,554.50

Environmental Equipment                                 $            91.85

Farmers Union Oil                                            $       2,662.42

GF Utility                                                         $            82.00

GovOffice                                                        $          475.00

Herda, Matt                                                      $          120.00

Indigo Signworks                                             $    12,898.67

Interstate Billing                                               $           23.35

Interstate Power                                                $         725.50

Lake Region Diesel                                          $         790.14

Lake Region Pest Control                                 $         435.00

Lakeside Lock & Key                                       $           17.25

Lakota American                                              $         390.97

Lakota Auto Truck & Tire                                 $           44.74

Lakota Bucks                                                   $         100.00

Lakota Cemetery                                              $      3,544.74

Lakota Grocery                                                $           50.67

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $         280.00

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           48.00

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $         541.54

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $      7,533.63

Lakota Rock Creek                                           $         275.00

Lakota Sanitation Service                                 $      7,840.99

Lakota Good Samaritan                                    $          50.00

Mailfinance                                                      $         600.00

Manbeck Law                                                   $         240.00

MARC                                                             $       2,070.76

MRES                                                              $    76,689.38

Moore Engineering                                           $         922.50

MMUA                                                            $         600.00

Nationwide                                                      $         145.00

ND Dept. of Health                                          $           98.86

NDLC                                                              $           40.00

NDPERS                                                          $      6,077.55

ND Water & Pollution                                      $           20.00

NMPP                                                              $         664.88

Nelson Co. Sheriff                                            $      2,318.40

Nelson County Treasurer                                  $      3,011.75

Neonlink                                                          $           88.80

Nodak Electric                                                 $         949.21

ND One Call                                                    $             3.60

ND Telephone                                                  $         118.45

Polar                                                                $         710.64

Transcript Publishing                                        $         350.00

Two Rivers Printing                                          $         257.65

United Laboratories                                          $         692.35

US Bank                                                          $    65,018.75

USDA                                                              $    12,266.00                                      

City Salaries                                                     $   10,525.88

City Salaries                                                     $   13,096.30

            TOTAL                                                            $ 2498,203.56

Next regular meeting is scheduled for May 6th, 2019 at 6pm. 

Member D. Mattern made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Member Hess.

Meeting adjourned at 2:06 p.m.

            APPROVED BY:                                             SUBMITTED BY:



Jeff Russo, Mayor                                            Amie Vasichek, Auditor