October 7, 2019 Regular Meeting

The Lakota City Council held its regular meeting October 7th, 2019, at the City Hall.  Mayor Russo called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. All Council Members were present, except Member Rainsberry who was absent.  Engineer Brad Muscha from Moore Engineering was in attendance.  Audience members were Angela Herda and Ed Pawlikowski

Member Hess made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 9th, 2019 regular meeting and September 27th, 2019 special meeting, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  All voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Mayor Russo recognized Angela Herda.  Mrs. Herda stated she was in attendance to observe.

Mayor Russo recognized Ed Pawlikowski.  Mr. Pawlikowski stated he was in attendance to assist with any special assessment’s questions.

Mayor Russo Engineer Muscha.  Engineer Muscha stated the city council shall hear any final appeals or objections on the street special assessment at this meeting. 

Engineer Muscha stated if council approves, the mayor should sign the final certificate of substantial completion on the street project.  Engineer Muscha stated this is not waive any rights of the city on the street project and Knife River still needs to complete the punch list items. 

Mayor Russo stated the concrete on the punch list and defective work list does not meet specs and would need to be replaced instead of altered by grinding the concrete down.  Engineer Muscha stated he will pass on the request to the contractor.

Member D. Mattern stated he is upset on how the 2nd part of the street project has been handled and that it has gone passed the substantial competition timeline again.  Member D. Mattern stated he will not settle with Knife River this time.

Member Vasichek asked Engineer Muscha to follow the project closely and make sure the contractor is following all the specifications set in place.

Member Hess stated the project is in liquidated damages now.

Member D. Mattern questioned if the grass seeding re-do will be next year or if it will be completed before freeze up.  Engineer Muscha stated the contractor needs to remove the material currently there and bring in better dirt, but he will try to get a schedule from the contractor.

Engineer Muscha presented the council with the BND loan funds request #11 for $12,049.94. 

Member Vasichek made a motion to approve the BND loan funds request #11 for $12,049.94, seconded by Member Hess.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Member Vasichek asked if Engineer Muscha has seen the additional core sample results of the street project that the city had conducted with Northern Technologies.  Engineer Muscha was provided a copy of the results at that time.

Mayor Russo stated two areas do not meet compaction standards and questioned what happens when the compaction percentages do not meet standards.  Engineer Muscha stated he will contact NTI to discuss the results.

Member Solberg stated there is a manhole that is very low at 4th St West and B Ave West that will need to be corrected.  Engineer Muscha stated he will review that area after the meeting.

Mr. Pawlikowski questioned if there were any questions for the special assessment committee. 

Engineer Muscha stated as for Brad Hooey’s driveway, he would like to have Mr. Hooey on location when the work is done to ensure approval.

Mr. Pawlikowski left the meeting at 6:46pm.

Member D. Mattern questioned about the street patching by Malia Young’s property and who should be responsible for it.  Engineer Muscha stated he will review the area.

Engineer Muscha left the meeting at 6:50pm.



Auditor Vasichek stated that the quote to re-key the exterior doors at the community center is $515 from Lakeside Lock and Key.

Member Hess made a motion to approve re-keying the exterior locks at the community center, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

The council requested to table discussion on the speed bumps at the park.


Mayor Russo stated a special events permit was submitted by DD’s Place for October 19th at the community center.

Member Vasichek made a motion to approve the special events permit for DD’s Place at the community center for October 19th, 2019, seconded by Member Hess.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Auditor Vasichek stated Sandy Burt provided her with an expense list for repair to her wooden sidewalk that was damaged during snow removal last year.  The council requested to find out where the property line is prior to discussion.  Discussion tabled.

Mayor Russo stated a few applications have been received for the superintendent position.  Mayor Russo stated out of the applications only one of them is a Journeyman Lineman and he is from New York.  Auditor Vasichek stated she has reached out to the applicant to make him aware of the wage range and the applicant was still interested in the position.

Member D. Mattern stated he is concerned with the Journeyman’s job hoping and did not have an interest in interviewing him.  Member Vasichek stated he felt Members Hess and Solberg should interview all local applicants prior to next meeting.  Member Vasichek stated the position might focus more on being a supervisor instead of having a Journeyman Lineman. 

Member Solberg stated he and Member Hess had discussed previously about the option of having a part-time superintendent and a part time laborer. 

Mayor Russo stated he would like to position to continue to be advertised but change it with more of a focus on being a water operator. 

Member R. Mattern made a motion to appoint Matt Herda as an interim supervisor for the city crew, seconded by D. Mattern.  The motion was denied by Mayor Russo.


Auditor Vasichek gave information on recent electrical outages in town and the schedule for the old water tower demolition.


No additional report provided.


The monthly call report was provided to the council.


Member Vasichek stated he has a contact with a property association to get information on speed bumps before next meeting.

Member Hess stated he was interested in having an average sewer rate for the months of June-August for the public with a cap.  Auditor Vasichek was requested to calculate an average use for a family of four.

Member D. Mattern stated Josh Nelson has requested to get a new light pole at his property, but Mr.




Mayor Russo stated there will be a MRES Regional meeting at Hillsboro on October 25th in anyone is interested in attending.

Mayor Russo stated he is concerned with the excessive use of city equipment by employees and would like it to be terminated.  Mayor Russo stated the city truck was at employee Burkland’s house for over a week for the removal of shingles from his house.  Mayor Russo stated he has been getting phone calls from residents upset that employee Herda is using equipment to build his house.

Audience member Angela Herda questioned what equipment is allegedly used as she knows what is being used.  Mrs. Herda stated that she believes Mayor Russo has an issue with her husband.  Mayor Russo stated he has an issue with any employee abusing the perk of using city equipment for personal use. 

Member Vasichek stated he doesn’t disagree with city employees using equipment within a reasonable amount of time, but the equipment should be returned to the city shop every day.


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

Auditor Vasichek stated she is compiling information to apply for a FEMA grant to help put some of the overhead power lines underground.

Auditor Vasichek stated she had sent a response letter along with copies of general ledger entries, bank statements and deposit tickets to Mr. Brad Hooey regarding his concerns from the previous meeting.  Auditor Vasichek stated she had sent copies of the packet sent to Mr. Hooey to all members of the audience at the Sept. 9th meeting including the city council.  Auditor Vasichek requested from the council to ask any questions they feel necessary of her and reminded the council that all information is open record.

Council members reviewed the financial and utilities reports.


Attorney Manbeck stated he will be receiving information from MRES on small cell towers.

Attorney Manbeck stated he has received the contract documents for the fuel farm at the Lakota Airport.  Attorney Manbeck stated the city share of the project is approximately $15,000 and the remainder will be federal and state funds.

Member Hess made a motion to approve the Lakota Airport Grant documents for the construction of a fuel farm, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.


After review of the bills and vouchers, a motion was made by Member Hess to pay all the bills presented for payment and those bills paid prior to the meeting.  Member R. Mattern seconded the motion.  Motion carried on roll call vote of 5-0.


Advanced Business Methods                             $         281.00

Aflac                                                               $         232.98

Agcom                                                             $      2,039.52

At&t                                                                $           68.22

BCBS                                                               $      4,565.92

Blue Tarp                                                         $           32.98

Caldwell Tanks                                                $ 390,539.68

Cardmember Service                                        $         918.32

Dakota Supply                                                 $       3,232.44

EFTPS                                                              $       2,487.06

EFTPS                                                              $       2,445.21

Farmers Union Oil                                            $        2,544.45

FedEx                                                              $             30.94

Hawkins                                                          $           683.44

Heartland Paper                                                $             20.60

Interstate                                                          $           716.80

JobService                                                       $        1,395.86

Knife River                                                      $    474,915.96

Kjorsvik, Patricia                                              $             50.53

Lake Region Pest                                              $           435.00

Lakota American                                              $           418.51

Lakota Bucks                                                   $           100.00

Lakota Drug                                                     $               2.29

Lakota Hardware                                              $           192.76

            Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           380.00

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           405.64

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $        3,229.20

            Lakota Sanitation Service                                 $        8,033.74

            Manbeck Law Office                                        $           290.00

            MRES                                                              $       30,850.36

            Moen, Helen                                                    $              25.00

            Moore Engineering                                           $      11,104.64

            Nationwide Retirement                                     $           145.00

            NDLC                                                              $           590.00

            NDPERS                                                          $        5,549.09

            Nelson Co. Sheriff                                            $        4,636.80

            Neonlink                                                          $             97.60

            Nodak Electric                                                 $        1,252.01

            ND One Call                                                    $            10.80

            North Holt                                                        $       5,890.00

            Office of State Tax                                           $          290.71 

            Polar                                                                $         722.23

            Pro Turf                                                           $      8,533.19

Quill                                                                $           69.99

            Rysavy Plumbing                                             $         710.16

            Russo, Jeff                                                       $         232.17

            Tri-County Water                                             $         825.00

            Tronson Grain                                                  $         856.00

            US Dept Of Energy                                          $      5,000.00

            Vasichek, Amie                                                $         232.17

            Vericheck                                                        $            11.75

            Visu-Sewer                                                      $       2,446.00

            City Salaries                                                     $     13,808.18

City Salaries                                                     $     13,683.33

            TOTAL                                                            $ 1,008,261.23

Next regular meeting is scheduled for November 4th, 6pm. 

Member Vasichek made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Member R. Mattern

Meeting adjourned at 8:03 p.m.

            APPROVED BY:                                             SUBMITTED BY: