December 2, 2019 Regular Meeting

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

Mayor Russo asked for additions to the agenda. 

Mayor Russo recognized Engineer Muscha.

Engineer Muscha went thru different change orders that need signatures for the street project.

Mayor Russo stated change order #3 for an increase of $44,506 would need a motion to approve.

Member Solberg made a motion to approve change order #3 for $44,506 for the street improvement 2018 project, seconded by Member D. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Engineer Muscha reviewed the attorney letter from Knife River on the objection of the liquidated damage fees.  Engineer Muscha stated Moore Engineering has written a response letter on behalf of the city that would need the mayor’s signature.

Engineer Muscha stated he does not believe the attorney has a copy of the contract between Knife River and the city, so most of the statements made are not valid.  Engineer Muscha stated the reply letter from the city will be mailed out tomorrow. 

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve a response letter to Knife River about liquidated damages, seconded by Member Hess.  All voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Engineer Muscha provided a list of items that need to be resolved still with the street project for Knife River to complete.  Engineer Muscha stated this list was sent to Knife River on November 6th, 2019.

Engineer Muscha stated the defective work will need to be complete by June 1st, 2020 by Knife River or the city will hire a separate contractor to complete the work and reduce the contract amount.  Engineer Muscha stated he has not heard a response from Knife River on the defective work.

Engineer Muscha reviewed the liquidated damages calculation for the street project.  Engineer Muscha stated on September 4th, 2019 a notice for final items to be completed was sent to Knife River.  Engineer Muscha reviewed the timeline of work from Knife River.  Engineer Muscha recommended imposing a suspension of liquidated damages during the winter months as work cannot be completed at that time and commencing it again in the spring of 2020.

Engineer Muscha presented an invoice from Moore Engineering for additional engineering services for the project of $7,388.55.

Engineer Muscha presented the loan funding for BND for the Moore Engineering for $7,388.55.

Member Hess made a motion to approve the request for BND loan funds of $7,388.55, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Engineer Muscha left the meeting at 6:23pm

Mayor Russo recognized Josh Nelson.

Mr. Nelson stated for the city shop electrical project the city had to purchase a piece of equipment that the city no longer needs.  Mr. Nelson stated he would like to purchase if back from the city if possible.

Member R. Mattern made a motion to deduct $310.84 from Nelson Electric’s bill for their purchase of a conduit bender, seconded by Member Hess.  On a member vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Mr. Nelson left the meeting at 6:24pm

Mayor Russo recognized Dan Ferguson.  Mayor Russo read aloud the Lakota Sanitation contract renewal application.

Member D. Member made a motion to approve the renewal of the Lakota Sanitation contact, seconded by Member Solberg.  All members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Mr. Ferguson left the meeting at 6:26pm



Mayor Russo stated the location of the city hall is on the agenda for discussion.  Mayor Russo stated an e-mail was sent out for his idea to re-locate the city hall to the south shop.

Member D. Mattern stated he does not believe the location of the south city hall would be a good location as there is no water on site.  Member Hess was unsure if it was a great location as the side walls are higher and it would be wasted space.  Member Hess stated putting sewer and water in a location is not a huge expense, but maybe a public meeting should be had to see if there is any public opinion on it.

Mayor Russo suggested tabling the discussion until a full is present and time can be spent on finding out how much USDA funding could be spent on making it ADA compliant.

Member Solberg stated the city has three options to consider; keep everything the way it is currently, move the city hall to either the south shop or the office space at the main shop.  Member Hess stated if the city hall remained in the same location, the roof would need to be repaired.



Mayor Russo stated no bids were submitted for the snowplow.

Member D. Mattern suggested reducing the minimum bid to $2,500.  Member Hess suggested $3,500 as there has been a lot of interest in it so far.  Member Solberg agreed.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to placing a minimum bid of $3,500 for the bid sale of the truck and snowplow, seconded by Member Solberg.  All members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Mayor Russo stated the tire estimate needs to be reviewed.

Supt. Herda stated the 2014 ford pickup needs 4 tires put on and he received an estimate from Lakota Auto Truck for $692.32.  Member Solberg asked if this was a state bid price.  Supt. Herda stated he does not know that.  Member Solberg stated the bid could be at 20%-25% reduced.  Member Solberg suggested getting a price directly from Firestone and having Lakota Auto Truck to install.

Member D. Mattern suggested giving Supt. Herda permission to purchase the tires if the price would be below what is presented.  Member Solberg the tires are needed and would typically be in stock.  Supt. Herda stated the tires he quoted were directly from the wholesaler so he does not think the price would be reduced.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to allow Supt. Herda to purchase 4 tires for the 2014 Ford pickup utilizing the state contract bid price, seconded by Member Solberg.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Mayor Russo presented the WAPA contract for approval.  Mayor Russo stated there are no indications for increasing of the rates from WAPA or MRES.  Member Hess stated the maturity of the contract goers to year 2050.  Mayor Russo stated the current contract ends at the end of 2020 and it takes that long to get all signatures and approvals and that is why it is presented now.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve the WAPA contract, seconded by Member Hess.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Mayor Russo reviewed the renewals of the Lakota liquor licenses from Dusty Roads dba as the Tiki Shack, Sunlac and DD’s Place.

Member Hess made a motion to approve the 2020 liquor license renewals of Dusty Roads dba as the Tiki Shack Bar and Grill, Sunlac Inn and DD’s Place, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.

Member Hess reviewed the 2020 wage recommendations with the updated spreadsheet.  Member Hess stated he recommends doing a straight cost of living increase for all employees. Member D. Mattern stated the full-time employees received an added benefit with the new health insurance structure. 

Member Solberg questioned any upcoming vacation time for employees.

Member Hess suggested rounding up to 2% as 1.7% increase is not a large amount.  Member Solberg stated with the health insurance benefit change he felt 1.7% was enough.  Member R. Mattern agreed.

Member Hess made a motion to approve a 1.7% cost of living increase for employees for 2020, seconded by Member Solberg.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Member Hess suggested to increase the summer help wage for next year to $11/hr.  Member Solberg questioned Supt. Herda how Brady Bartlett was this last summer.  Supt. Herda stated he was ok but needed direction.  Supt. Herda stated he hopes Chris Hendrickson will come back summer 2020.


No additional report provided.


Sheriff Olson stated he had about 250 calls for the month.  Sheriff Olson stated the city contract is coming up for renewal and he will be evaluating it shortly to present to the cities.  Sheriff Olson stated he was unsure if there will be an increase, but it will be determined by the county commissioners.

Sheriff Olson stated he is having his deputies watch the stop signs more and speeding in town.



Member Solberg questioned about the North Holt electric work by Tronson Grain.  Supt. Herda stated he spoke to North Holt and they plan to come back to Lakota and finish up the following week.

Member Solberg questioned if there is a proper procedure for personal use of city equipment.  Member Solberg stated there is a fee to use equipment for anyone in the public, how is fair to the public if the employees use it for free.  Supt. Herda stated he personally puts fuel in the equipment he uses.  Supt. Herda stated he understands if he would need to personally need to use city equipment, he needs to ask permission from one city council member and report it to Auditor Vasichek.  Mayor Russo stated that is correct.

Member Solberg questioned the status of the water tower project.  Mayor Russo stated the council will need to decide on liquidated damages, water meters and ADA compliance issues. 

Member Hess stated the city crew is a man short as Kelly Bazal has declined the offer to work for the city.  Member Hess wanted to know what the city would like to do.  Member Hess stated he would like to have a universal employee that could do many things.  Supt. Herda suggested advertising for an equipment operator.  Mayor Russo recommended advertising for a water operator so Kim Burkland can start training that employee and offering his knowledge. 

Member Hess made a motion to advertise for a city employee who is Level 2 Water Operator, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  All members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Member D. Mattern questioned if Bruce Anderson or Jay Sundeen have paid for payment of the second logo on the water tower.  The council will check with Auditor Vasichek if all funds have been received and send a thank you to acknowledge the donation.

Member D. Mattern questioned the status of the fuel station at the airport.  Mayor Russo stated the city will be responsible for the 5% of the cost of the project and it will not be finished this year.


None given.


Mayor Russo provided the council with proper protocol on funding availability that was provided by the NDLC.


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

Sheriff Olson stated there might be a shooting range starting for the public and school systems to use.

Member Solberg questioned about the maintenance of the frontage road.  Supt. Herda stated he has contacted the Devils Lake office and they will not contact him back. 


Council reviewed the financial and utility reports.


Mayor Russo stated the November Supt. report is found on tab #3.

Member D. Mattern questioned what is going on with the lift station.  Supt. Herda stated the motor on the pump had went out and the repairman took it with him and is working on it currently.  Supt. Herda stated there are 2 other pumps that are currently running.



Attorney Manbeck was not in attendance.


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 4-0.


Advance Auto Parts                                          $           25.75

Advanced Business Methods                             $         289.00

Agcom                                                             $           27.69

At&t                                                                $           68.62

Border States                                                    $      1,170.44

CMS                                                                $           47.56

Dakota Supply                                                 $          183.32

Dept. of Environmental Quality                         $          516.34

Don Dvorak Gravel                                          $          573.60

EFTPS                                                              $        1,485.00

EFTPS                                                              $        1,366.78

Farmers Union Oil                                            $        1,460.41

FedEx                                                              $             23.22

Ferguson Waterworks                                       $           656.04

Fahey, Dennis                                                  $           250.00

GF Utility                                                         $           159.50

Hamel, Katie                                                    $             50.00

Hawkins                                                          $           521.81

Lake Region Pest Control                                 $             80.00

Lakota Hardware                                              $           197.04

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           190.00

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           425.42

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $        7,790.48

Lakota Sanitation Service                                 $        8,020.86

Lindell, Laura                                                  $             50.00

Menards                                                           $           112.97

MRES                                                              $      80,509.19

Moore Engineering                                           $        7,388.55

ND Association of Municipal Power                  $           100.00

Nelson County                                                 $               1.00

Nelson County Recorder                                   $             20.00

Neonlink                                                          $             50.60

Nodak Electric                                                 $            723.25

ND Telephone                                                  $             59.96

Ohlhauser, Laura                                              $           250.00

Polar                                                                $           250.00

Powerplan                                                        $             41.30

Quill                                                                $           122.23

Russo, Jeff                                                       $           114.26

Structural Materials                                          $           171.60

Stumper Pumper                                               $           450.00

United Laboratories                                          $           163.27

Verizon                                                            $          179.69

Weninger, Brandin                                           $          100.00

City Salaries                                                     $       8,762.26

City Salaries                                                     $       8,331.14

            TOTAL                                                            $    133,530.15

Next regular meeting is scheduled for January 6th, 2020, 6pm. 

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

Meeting adjourned at 7:31 p.m.

            APPROVED BY:                                             SUBMITTED BY:



Jeff Russo, Mayor                                            Amie Vasichek, Auditor