July 6, 2020 Regular Meeting

The Lakota City Council held its regular meeting July 6th, 2020, at the City Hall. Mayor Hooey called the meeting to order at 5:58 p.m. All Council Members were present.  City employees Matt Herda & Nancy Skogen and Engineer Brad Muscha were in attendance. Audience members were Kara Koski and Tony Anderson.

Member Hess made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 23rd, 2020 Final Meeting and June 23rd, 2020 Organization meeting seconded by Member R. Mattern.  All voting in favor. Motion carried.

Mayor Hooey recognized Kara Koski.  Mrs. Koski stated she was in attendance to answer any pool project questions the council may have.

Mayor Hooey recognized Engineer Muscha.

Engineer Muscha provided the council with an agenda of topics for discussion.  Engineer Muscha reviewed the punch list for the street project.  Engineer Muscha reviewed the defective work items as the city had agreed to a 50% deduct of the work and now the contractor is proposing a 10% deduction.  Mayor Hooey stated he believes the city has worked with Knife River as much as possible and would recommend remaining at the 50% deduction.  Engineer Muscha stated the process will be to submit the city’s request to the contractor and if it is not accepted, the deduction would be withheld from the final pay request until the issue can be resolved.

Mr. Tony Anderson requested to speak on behalf of the defective work item.  Mr. Anderson stated he is the contractor who performed the work and at the time the on-site inspector stated the work completed was acceptable.  Mr. Anderson stated he can agree that the work is out of spec, but the area does function.  Mr. Anderson stated he would not object to the council’s decision but wanted to provide his side of the story.  Member D. Mattern stated the issue the city has is with Knife River and he is done giving breaks to them.  Member Solberg agreed with a 50% deduct and wanted to move on.

Member Vasichek made a motion to remain with the 50% deduct ($12,641.88) of the street project for concrete work completed at A Ave East, seconded by Member D. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Engineer Muscha stated Knife River has also countered on the defective work at C Ave East and 4th St East with a 0% deduct, rather than the 50% deduct the city had approved.  Engineer Muscha stated this concrete work was performed by Creative Curb.  Mayor Hooey questioned how much water is held at the gutter.  Engineer Muscha stated when he held a 4’ level it was holding ¼”, but it is hard to say what it does all the time.  Member Hess suggested remaining firm with the deduction.

Member Vasichek made a motion to remain with the 50% deduct ($3,912) of the street project for concrete work completed at C Ave East & 4th St East, seconded by Member Hess. On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Member Solberg stated he is concerned with the seal coat not holding up.  Mayor Hooey stated he felt the seal coat was applied on a cold day.  Engineer Muscha stated he would like a list of areas the council would like reviewed.  Employee Herda was asked to provide a list to Engineer Muscha. 

Mayor Hooey stated he reviewed the itemized list of the billing from the engineer and some of the calls should be towards defective work and not liquidated damages.  Engineer Muscha stated Moore Engineering office is reviewing the billing and will be separating the items out and broke down better.

Engineer Muscha and Tony Anderson left the meeting at 6:31pm.



Mayor Hooey stated he would like to appoint Matt Herda as City Superintendent.  Member D. Mattern stated he would like to make that position a salaried position and did not know why it was ever changed to hourly.

Mayor Hooey questioned the council as to what working hours, they would like to have for the city crew.  Member D. Mattern stated he felt if the city crew put their 40/hrs. in each week, they could leave when they would like.  Member D. Mattern stated if employee Herda would like to get his hours in by Wednesday, he should be able to leave.  Member Vasichek questioned the status of the water certificate for employee Herda as it is not yet completed and was a motion to do so within 6 months.  Member D. Mattern stated the COVID pandemic happened and employee Herda was unable to complete the request.  Member Vasichek didn’t disagree but stated employee Herda had previous opportunities to obtain a water certificate by taking the test and has not done so.  Member Vasichek stated he is concerned with the option provided for hours worked loosely in a week and making sure the city crew is appropriately staffed during working hours of 8am-4:30pm.  Employee Herda stated he is always around and is just a phone call away.  Member D. Mattern stated he felt employee Herda’s wage should be $60,000/annually.  Member Solberg questioned employee Herda if he was good with that amount.  Employee Herda stated he would prefer $65,000/annually.  Member Vasichek stated by increasing the wage to $60,000/annually, employee Herda would be receiving a 10% raise. 

Member D. Mattern stated the city superintendent will most likely put in additional hours in the position and would deserve the bump in pay and if left as hourly the hours would be overtime.  Member Vasichek questioned how many overtime hours employee Herda is putting in currently as interim superintendent.  Employee Herda stated he has not put many overtime hours in as he would leave early to alleviate that issue.

Mayor Hooey stated he has previously spoken with employee Herda about allowing the city crew to work four 10-hour shifts from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day weekend so the men can enjoy the summer.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve the appointment of Matt Herda as City Superintendent with a salary of $60,000/annually with the stipulation he obtains a water certificate as previously instructed by the end of the calendar year or when the next ND water certification testing is made available, seconded by Member Solberg.  On a roll call vote, all Members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Auditor Vasichek stated she has provided the Lakota School District with the community center lease agreement with the terms specified.  Member Rainsberry stated he spoke with a couple School Board members and they are fine with the terms.



Member D. Mattern made a motion to have Amie Vasichek, Brad Hooey and Dennis Mattern on the signature cards at the State Bank of Lakota, seconded by Member Rainsberry.  On a roll call vote, all voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve the pledge of securities by the State Bank of Lakota for $3,310,000, seconded by Member Vasichek.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Auditor Vasichek stated she was made aware the Lakota Ambulance was looking into an electronic recycling truck to come into Lakota.  Auditor Vasichek requested an estimate to have the truck come to Lakota for a disposal day for the residents.  Auditor Vasichek stated ND Waste quoted $1,750 to come to Lakota on a day from 10am-5pm to dispose of printers, computers, cords/cables, phones, stereos, vcr’s, etc.  Auditor Vasichek stated there would be an additional fee for anyone bringing TVs and computer monitors.  Member Vasichek stated he thought it was a great idea and suggested to reach out to neighboring city or the city of Michigan to see if they would like to share the cost or split the service.

Member Vasichek made a motion to offer a one-time electronic recycling event provided by ND Waste for a fee of $1,750, seconded by Member D. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Auditor Vasichek provided the council with the employee health insurance renewal information.  The overall health insurance was increased by 8.9%, dental rate remained the same and the vision rate went down by 8.5%.  Auditor Vasichek reminded the council that each participating employee contributes 30% of the overall cost of insurance while the city picks up 70%.

Member Hess made a motion to renew the current BCBS employee health policy, seconded by Member Rainsberry.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor, except Member Vasichek who abstained.  Motion carried.

Mayor Hooey asked the council if there is any further business to discuss. 

Member Vasichek stated he was approached about establishing an ordinance to limit the hours fireworks can be discharged in town.  Member Vasichek stated he had a resident express a concern of fireworks being shot off until 2am in his neighborhood.

Member Vasichek made a motion to approve the first reading of ordinance 12.0404A, seconded by Member Hess.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Ordinance 12-0404A

Fireworks Discharge

1.       Fireworks or other such related devices shall only be discharged within the City of Lakota from 12:00pm-1am each day starting on June 27th through July 5th

  1. A person who violates this ordinance shall be subject to a fine of $50.00 for each occurrence.


Member Rainsberry questioned the pool project and the drainage issue running north of the pool.  Mrs. Koski stated currently the project does not include landscaping outside the pool fence, which would be the area to the north.  Member Rainsberry stated the water that is sprayed off the pool deck currently runs to the north and back under the concrete.  Member Rainsberry suggested installing a small gutter to the street to help with the water going back underneath the pool deck.  It was decided the city crew could handle this on their own before freeze up.  Mrs. Koski requested this to be completed before spring of 2021 as to not interfere with re-opening next summer.



Supt. Herda provided his report of the crew activities to the council and is attached with the minutes.

Supt. Herda stated the pump north of town should be operating this week as North-Holt is scheduled to be onsite Wednesday to energize.  Member D. Mattern stated he does not feel Lakota should be leasing a pump from the Nelson County Water board as there is a pump available for $13K at SSR Pump in Michigan.  Auditor Vasichek stated with this project co-sponsored by the city and Lakota Township, together we would be pursuing FEMA money to accomplish the project and under the grant we wouldn’t be allowed to purchase a pump, only lease it.  Member D. Mattern stated he still did not see why the city would waste money on renting equipment when it could be purchased outright.  Member Vasichek stated that this has already been agreed upon on a previous meeting and the reason to utilize a FEMA grant is because it is free money.

Supt. Herda stated he has received a verbal quote from Tom Benson on tearing down the blue house East of the residence at 316 E Ave West.  Supt. Herda stated the city would provide the fill dirt from the landfill for Benson Excavating to utilize for the hole. 

Member Vasichek made a motion to approve the quote from Benson Excavating of $3,000 for the tear down of the residential structure directly east of 316 E Ave West, Lakota, ND, seconded by Member Hess.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Supt. Herda stated there has been a water drain issue at Scott Brossart’s.  Supt. Herda stated he has communicated to Mr. Brossart that he should not bury a pipe to transfer water onto the neighboring property.  Supt. Herda explained that Mr. Brossart has two PVC pipes from his house pumping water to the ditch and had asked Mr. Brossart to tie the two pipes together and direct the water to the valley gutter on the SE corner of his property.  Supt. Herda stated Mr. Brossart did not believe the water would run in that area as stated and objected to the request.  Supt. Herda stated he would like the council to make this decision.

Member Hess stated he has been working at Mr. Brossart’s and is familiar with the issue, but there is also a water issue to the southwest property.  After some discussion, it was decided to have Member Hess speak with Mr. Brossart about moving the water to the SE corner of the block.

Sheriff Olson entered the meeting at 7:45pm.

Supt. Herda stated he would like to change the light fixtures on the frontage road to LED’s and the quote from Border States for the fixtures is $3,439.08 for 12 fixtures.

Member Rainsberry made a motion to purchase 12 LED light fixtures to install on the frontage road for $3,439.08, seconded by Member Solberg.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.   Motion carried.



No additional report provided.


Sheriff Olson provided the council with the signed contact policing document.  Sheriff Olson stated the calls are slowly increasing and the department recently assisted with a bust in Walsh County on stolen property.



Mrs. Koski requested the corner of her property be reviewed by the street department as the street project crew removed the sidewalk ramp to the street and filled it with millings.  The city crew was instructed to handle the issue.

Member Hess stated there recently was a stop sign added to the intersection of C Ave West and 5th St West making it a 3-way stop.  Member Hess stated he did not believe the additional stop sign was needed since where it was placed the traffic slows down to accommodate for the sloped street to the valley gutter.  Member Vasichek stated a 3-way stop is confusing for drivers and thought to add another stop sign or go back to a 2 way stop.  Supt. Herda stated he was instructed to place the stop sign there by Mayor Hooey.  Mayor Hooey stated the resident at the intersection asked for the stop sign, so he thought it was valid to put it there.  The city crew was instructed to add another stop sign to make it a 4-way stop.



None given.


Mayor Hooey had nothing to report.



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

Auditor Vasichek reminded the council to review the proposed preliminary budget and if there are any questions, please let her know. 

Auditor Vasichek stated the Lakota Community Club is planning a Corks and Kegs Crawl for August 7th, which is similar to previous wine walks in town.  Auditor Vasichek described the event to the council and asked for their blessing to allow the event.  The city council had no issues with the event.

Auditor Vasichek stated she applied for and was awarded a tree planting grant from the ND Forestry Council for $10,000 for trees all to be planted at the golf course.  Auditor Vasichek stated she will be planning for a plant next fall.

Auditor Vasichek reminded everyone to complete their 2020 census.


Council reviewed the financial and utility reports.



Attorney Manbeck was not in attendance.

After review of the bills and vouchers, a motion was made by Member Vasichek 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 6-0.

Aaker Funeral Home                                        $            25.00

Acme Tools                                                     $            28.99

Advance Auto Parts                                          $          204.99

Advanced Business Methods                             $          289.00

Aflac                                                               $          600.78

Agcom Credit                                                   $            65.19

At&t                                                                $            68.42

BCBS                                                               $        4,362.16

Border States                                                    $           487.45

Cardmember                                                    $         4,752.99

Carrot-Top                                                       $            572.12

CHS                                                                 $           306.18

CMS                                                                $           108.15

Dakota Implement                                            $            91.46

Dakota Playground                                           $        1,576.00

Dept. of Justice                                                $           447.60

EFTPS                                                              $        3,155.30

EFTPS                                                              $        3,288.89

Farmers Union Oil                                            $        2,253.24

Ferguson Waterworks                                       $        6,014.09

GF Utility Billing                                              $           162.50

Hawkins                                                          $           595.94

Home of Economy                                           $           499.99

Interstate Billing                                               $             27.81

Lake Region Pest Control                                 $           355.00

Lakota American                                              $           322.79

Lakota Auto Truck & Tire                                 $           148.95

Lakota City Cemetery                                       $        3,550.11

Lakota Golf Club                                              $        2,405.40

Lakota Hardware                                              $        1,711.90

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           300.00

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           393.08

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $        3,353.84

 Lakota Sanitation Service                                 $        8,189.50

 Langdon Fire Equipment                                   $           624.00

 Leon’s Building Center                                     $             60.40

 Mailfinance/Neopost                                        $           600.00

 Manbeck Law                                                  $           240.00

 Menards                                                           $             28.09

 MARC                                                             $        3,169.98

 MRES                                                              $      32,141.53

 Moen, Helen                                                    $             25.00

 Moore Engineering                                           $        7,605.20

 Nationwide Retirement                                     $           217.50

 ND Dept of Environmental                               $             20.00

 NDIRF                                                             $             97.19

 NDLC                                                              $           878.00

 NDPERS                                                          $        5,653.08

 Nelson County                                                 $           415.00

 Nelson County Sheriff                                      $         2,318.40

 Nelson Electric                                                 $            695.97

 Neonlink                                                          $              52.20

 NILE, Inc.                                                        $         8,907.92

 Nodak Electric                                                 $         1,583.73

 ND Dept of Health                                           $              31.76

 ND One Call                                                    $             42.00

 ND Telephone                                                  $            119.41

 Polar                                                                $            638.99

PMUG                                                             $              50.00

Praxair                                                             $              94.50

Pro Turf Systems                                              $         5,785.90

Quill                                                                $            123.50

Rysavy Plumbing                                             $            284.40

Strata Corp                                                       $         1,009.75

Sateren, Roger                                                  $              89.99

Thein Well                                                       $            275.00

United Laboratories                                          $         2,546.51

Van Diest Supply                                             $         2,352.60

Vericheck                                                        $             19.30

Verizon Wireless                                              $           246.71

Witzel Construction                                          $           822.50

City Salaries                                                     $      17,350.99

City Salaries                                                     $      18,853.16

            TOTAL                                                            $    166,208.97

Next regular meeting is scheduled for August 3rd, 2020 at 6pm. 

Mayor Hooey stated he would like to make the following appointments for committees:

            Personal – Kris Rainsberry

            Health – Tom Hess

            Public Places – Tom Hess

            Law Enforcement – Rod Mattern

            Construction & Utilities – Jim Vasichek

            Streets – Dennis Mattern

            Library – Tom Hess

            Planning & Zoning – Bill Solberg

            EDC & Lodging – Rod Mattern

            Golf Course – Kris Rainsberry

            City Forester – Amie Vasichek

            City Attorney – Doug Manbeck

            MRES Rep – Brad Hooey

            MRES Alt. Rep – Matt Herda

Mayor Hooey stated he would like to formally apologize to Auditor Vasichek for being so hard on her last fall about the street project.  Mayor Hooey stated she was put in a position to be a project manager for the street project during that time and that should not have happened.

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

Meeting adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

            APPROVED BY:                                             SUBMITTED BY:



Brad Hooey, Mayor                                          Amie Vasichek, Auditor