February 3, 2020 Regular Meeting

The Lakota City Council held its regular meeting February 3rd, 2020, at the City Hall.  Mayor Russo called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. All Council Members were present, except Member Solberg who was absent.  City Superintendent Matt Herda was in attendance.  Audience members were Steve Forde and Robin Sauvageau.

Member Hess made a motion to approve the minutes of the Jan. 6th, 2020 regular meeting, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  All voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Mayor Russo recognized Steve Forde.

Mr. Forde stated he was in attendance to introduce a Nelson County housing study and that Lakota will be included in it.  Mr. Forde stated he received a grant to pay for half of it and the Nelson County JDA will be supplying the funding for the balance.  Mr. Forde stated the study should start at the end of February and will require some information and time from the city office.

Mrs. Sauvageau left the meeting at 6:07pm.

Mr. Forde also stated he is really interested in getting a clinic back in Lakota and is currently working on finding a location.

Mr. Forde left the meeting at 6:11pm



The council discussed the options of improving the city hall’s current location and the options to move to the city shop building.  Auditor Vasichek stated she doesn’t believe the city would save money by moving the city hall as the heating costs and renovations would be a huge expense.  Member Rainsberry stated he would like to see the city hall stay uptown. 

Member Hess stated the council should review the roof issues of city hall this summer.  Mayor Russo stated the consensus he is getting from the council is to remain at its current location.



Auditor Vasichek stated the city received another pledge of securities for approval of $3,060,000 from the State Bank of Lakota.

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

Auditor Vasichek stated she had received an e-mail from Engineer Voeller to not send out the response letter to Caldwell Tanks on the allowance discussion for the project and that he will provide the council with his suggestion on liquidated damages.

No further discussion on liquidated damages.

Member Hess made a motion to appoint Kris Rainsberry as Lakota’s representative for MRES and Dennis Mattern would be the alternate, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Auditor Vasichek went over the 2018 Audit report provided to the council via e-mail from Mortenson & Rygh.  Auditor Vasichek questioned if the council had reviewed it and if there were any questions.  It was decided to wait for discussion on it until the next meeting.

Member D. Mattern questioned putting funds aside for infrastructure for power poles as there are so many that need to be replaced.  Auditor Vasichek stated funds are set aside monthly into a reserve fund that has reached approximately $256,608 so far and there is a CD with funds of $200,000 available.  Auditor Vasichek stated that in her report she is gathering information to submit for HMGP funding to put some power lines underground in order to help prevent a disaster.  Auditor Vasichek stated it is not guaranteed the grant would be approved, but if it is it will focus on the eastern side of the town first. 


Supt Herda’s report and is attached hereto.

Member D. Mattern questioned if Supt. Herda had contacted North Holt about the unfinished work around town.  Supt. Herda stated North Holt told him today that they will possibly be back at the end of this week. 

Supt. Herda stated he is running low on LED streetlight fixtures and would like to purchase 12-15 more to have on hand. 

Member Hess made a motion to approve the purchase of 15 LED streetlight fixtures, seconded by Member Rainsberry.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Supt. Herda suggested placing more LED street lights in the park with the upcoming pool project.

Supt. Herda spoke on the recent moisture test of the floor at the community center.   Member Vasichek suggested contacting Innovative Flooring Solutions to help diagnose any problems they see and to find out steps we should take.  Member Vasichek and Member Rainsberry volunteered to communicate with the School going forward.

Supt Herda stated the furnace for the front offices at the shop is no longer working properly.  Supt. Herda stated there is an unused furnace in storage that was taken from the daycare building that could be utilized, but it runs off propane and there will need to be a little work for installation.  Mayor Russo suggested getting an estimate for installation along with a separate estimate for an electric furnace.



No additional report provided.

Auditor Vasichek stated Engineer Muscha from Moore Engineering still has not received anything from Knife River.


No additional report provided.



Member Hess reminded Supt. Herda that unless of an emergency, he is required to take a 30-minute lunch break each working day.  Member Hess reminded everyone of the Department of Labor requirements and the purpose of following them.  Supt. Herda acknowledged the requirement.

Member Hess stated he has not interviewed the applicants for the water operator position, but he believes the position should be set as a general laborer who will get on the job training and work up to be a certified water operator.  Member Vasichek agreed.  Auditor Vasichek suggested advertising for a general laborer with opportunity for advancement in order to get a bigger pool of people.

Member Rainsberry asked if any quotes have been received for wall pads at the community center.  Auditor Vasichek stated the request has been submitted for an estimate, but she is waiting to receive an estimate.



None given.


Mayor Russo had no report.


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

Auditor Vasichek stated the council might need a special meeting to approve the pool project plans and she is thinking it will be the week of February 10th.

Auditor Vasichek stated the sewer and water rate recommendations should be provided to the council at the March meeting. 

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 Hess to pay all the bills presented for payment and those bills paid prior to the meeting.  Member Vasichek seconded the motion.  Motion carried on roll call vote of 5-0.


Aflac                                                               $          232.98

Ameripride Services                                         $            92.51

At&t                                                                $           68.22

BND                                                                $        1,275.00

BCBS                                                               $       3,158.46

Blue Tarp                                                         $            99.29

Cardmember                                                    $          184.87

CMS                                                                $          130.85

Dept. of Environmental Quality                         $            55.60

EFTPS                                                              $        1,545.48

EFTPS                                                              $        1,397.75

Elvick, Marlys                                                  $               1.50

Farmers Union Oil                                            $           899.75

GCR Tires                                                        $           476.76

GF Utility                                                         $             41.00

Hawkins                                                          $           633.21

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           380.00

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           617.55

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $      10,831.76

Lakota Sanitation Service                                 $        7,634.13

Mailfinance                                                      $           803.07

Manbeck Law Office                                        $           770.00

Matejcek, David                                               $             50.00

Mead & Hunt                                                   $      22,940.36

MFOA                                                             $             30.00

MRES                                                              $      71,146.11

Moore Engineering                                           $        7,960.00

MMUA                                                            $           600.00

Naastad Brothers                                              $     102,993.08

NDPERS                                                          $         2,316.66

Nelson Electrical                                              $            895.00

Nodak Electric                                                 $         2,231.99

ND Telephone                                                  $             59.46

Northern Technologies                                     $        1,282.50

Neumann, Denise                                             $           100.00

Polar                                                                $           714.03

Quill                                                                $            159.43

Rysavy Plumbing                                             $              90.00

United Laboratories                                          $            675.46

Verizon                                                            $           202.97

WSI                                                                 $        2,674.54

City Salaries                                                     $        8,924.58

City Salaries                                                     $        8,387.68

            TOTAL                                                            $    265,763.59

Next regular meeting is scheduled for March 2nd, 2020, 6pm. 

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

Meeting adjourned at 7:16 p.m.

            APPROVED BY:                                             SUBMITTED BY:



Jeff Russo, Mayor                                            Amie Vasichek, Auditor