March 2, 2020 Regular Meeting

The Lakota City Council held its regular meeting March 3rd, 2020, at the City Hall.  Mayor Russo called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. All Council Members were present, except Member Hess who was absent.  City Superintendent Matt Herda and city employee Kim Burkland were in attendance.  Audience members were Mike Ritteman, Erik Volk, Steve Dewald, Charlies Veen, Marc Kress and Brad Curly

Member D. Matten made a motion to approve the minutes of the Feb. 3rd, 2020 regular meeting, seconded by Member Rainsberry.  All voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Mayor Russo recognized Steve DeWald.  Mr. DeWald stated he is in attendance to provide the council with the pool improvement project plans and to request the project to be opened for bids. 

Mr. DeWald stated he has one issue he needs to work out for the project with the radius of from the diving board to the bottom of the pool.  Mr. DeWald stated a new diving board and base would be approximately an additional $10,000 to the project.

Erik Volk entered the meeting at 5:40pm.

Mr. DeWald stated he worked on the original pool 32 years ago, so he is very familiar with the plans. 

WAPA entered the meeting at 5:44pm

Member R. Mattern questioned what the cost of a slide would be for the pool.  Mr. DeWald estimated a slide to be $1,000/ft.  Mr. DeWald stated the Lakota pool wasn’t designed to have both a diving board and a slide for the fact that you need clearance space designated around each item and that would take the majority of the pool away for the rest of the occupants.

Member D. Mattern questioned if the project could start after August 1st to accommodate opening the pool for part of the summer.  Auditor Vasichek stated she spoke with David Volk from Associated Pools and he would request to start right after July 4th weekend to accommodate completing the project by October 1st.  Auditor Vasichek stated Mr. Volk implied that would be the latest he would like to start.

Member Solberg entered the meeting at 5:50pm.

Charlie Veen entered the meeting at 5:51pm.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve the Swimming Pool Improvement plans and request bids for the project, seconded by Member Vasichek.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor, except for Member Solberg who did not vote.  Motion carried.

Mr. DeWald left the meeting at 5:55pm.

Mayor Russo recognized Mr. Kress and Mr. Curly.

Mr. Kress stated they were representatives from WAPA and were in attendance to let Lakota know about improvements that need to be made to the substation south of town.  Mr. Kress stated he is projected these improvements to be made starting in 2023 and 2024 and will consist of replacing the controls and relays the first year and changing out the transformer the second year.

Mayor Russo suggested WAPA to contact MRES first to find out if they have anything scheduled for improvements at the substation. 

Mr. Kress and Mr. Curly left the meeting at 6:02pm

Mayor Russo recognized Mr. E. Volk.

Mr. Volk stated he was in attendance to present his water and sewer rate study.  Mr. Volk provided the council with a printout of his study and went thru it.  Mr. Volk suggested increasing utility rates each year to reflect inflation of approximately 3.22%.   Mr. Volk suggested starting a water meter reserve and an additional reserve account for emergencies.

The council thanked Mr. Volk for his time.

Mayor Russo recognized Mr. Veen.

Mr. Veen provided the council with an updated spreadsheet for the work completed on the water tower and what is left to pay to Caldwell Tanks.  MR. Veen suggested sending the provided letter to Caldwell Tanks denying their request for a cost share on the $133,000 allowance on the contract.  Mr. Veen stated he has a letter prepared to send as well on the liquidated damages for the project.  Mr. Veen stated he believes with withholding payments 5-7 to Caldwell Tanks, it has forced Caldwell Tanks to finish the allowance portion of the project and the city would not need to contact the bonding company for lack of completion of the project.

Mr. Veen left the meeting at 6:40pm

Mayor Russo recognized Mr. Ritteman.

Mr. Ritteman stated he was in attendance to answer any questions on the history of the community center floor and structure.

Employee Kim Burkland entered the meeting at 6:44pm

Auditor Vasichek stated a few members of the city and the school recently met with Innovative Flooring to help provide an option to the moisture issues of the floor.  Member D. Mattern explained what Innovative Flooring suggested cutting a trough on the inside borders of the community center floor throughout the entire gym floor to help pull the moisture out and then place a moisture liner underneath a new gym floor.  Member D. Mattern stated the estimated cost is $53,900 to do this.  Member D. Mattern stated he felt a better alternative would be to install drain tile on the west and east side of the community center and install new commercial grade gutters.  Supt. Herda stated he has contacted a few companies to obtain estimates on drain tile and he spoke briefly with Witzel Construction and a rough estimate would be $16/ft.

Mr. Volk left the meeting at 6:58pm

Auditor Vasichek was asked to post an advertisement for bids to install drain tile on the east and west sides of the community center along with bids to install commercial rain gutters.

Mr. Ritteman suggested connecting each side of the drain tile and running the water to the south ditch.  Mr. Ritteman stated he did not believe running the water to the north would work.  Mr. Ritteman also suggested going at least 7-8 feet down in order to pull the water from underneath the catch basin.  Mr. Ritteman reminded the council the electrical is on the west side of the community center and would need to be worked around.

Mr. Ritteman left at 7:06pm



Member Rainsberry made a motion to approve the 2018 Audit Report provided by Mortenson & Rygh, seconded by Member D. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.



Auditor Vasichek stated Nelson County is conducting a Multi-Hazard Mitigation 5-year planning meeting on March 11th and Lakota should send at least two representatives to this meeting.  The council nominated Tom Hess and Amie Vasichek to attend all meeting associated with MHMP planning.

Auditor Vasichek stated the golf course clubhouse board has requested to cost share the expense of two new signs (one along Hwy 1 and the other on Hwy 2).  Auditor Vasichek stated Derrick Marquart indicated each sign was approximately $720.

Member Vasichek made a motion to cost share golf course advertisement signs along ND Hwy 1 & US Hwy 2 with the Golf Club House if DOT regulations are followed, seconded by Member Rainsberry.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Auditor Vasichek stated she has the golf course employee job posting in the Lakota American starting this week and will post the city summer help as well.

Auditor Vasichek provided the council with an estimate on installing new wall padding panels at the community center.  Auditor Vasichek stated the north and south side including the overhead door would be $2,686.  Auditor Vasichek stated she will double check to make sure all the proper measurements have been provided and that the cut outs for electrical can be included.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to purchase wall padding panels for the north and south walls of the community center, seconded by Member Rainsberry.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.

Auditor Vasichek was instructed to choose a grey or neutral shade for the wall padding.

Auditor Vasichek stated MRES has provided an agreement for assisting with maintenance of the electrical distribution system.  Auditor Vasichek stated with the lack of a Journeyman Lineman on staff, this might be something the council could pursue for planned improvements.  Auditor Vasichek stated MRES also included an estimate to assist Lakota with assessing the electrical system and make suggestions on what improvements need to be made.  Auditor Vasichek stated she can have a representative from MRES come to a council meeting to explain more about the options and will have Attorney Manbeck look at the agreements in the meantime.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve a special event permit for March 29th, 2020 for DD’s Place, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.



Supt Herda’s report and is attached hereto.

Supt. Herda provided the council with crack filling equipment options. 

Member D. Mattern questioned what the council would like to do with the lease agreement on the John Deere mower that is expiring.  Member Vasichek stated he recently heard of a program called SourceWell for low bid equipment like this and he would like to look at it to bring to council.

Mayor Russo opened an estimate for a new electrical furnace at the front offices of the city shop from Rysavy Plumbing.  The estimate was $2,860 for a new 10KW furnace and install.  Supt. Herda stated he found out the propane furnace in storage could not be used for this project.

Member Vasichek made a motion to approve Rysavy Plumbing bid of $2,860 to install an electrical furnace at the city shop, seconded by Member R. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Mr. Burkland left the meeting at 7:49pm.




No additional report provided.


No additional report provided.



Member D. Mattern stated he has received complaints from the Golf Club House board that Roger Sateren has again been renting out storage space at the cart sheds and keeping the funds for a “slush fund”.  Member D. Mattern also stated a water heater was purchased and installed at the clubhouse without board approval.  Member D. Mattern questioned why the water was still turned on throughout the winter months.  Mayor Russo stated he believed Mr. Sateren utilizes the club house building for his own personal use and it will need to stop.  Mayor Russo stated he will be speaking with Mr. Sateren about these complaints.

Member Solberg stated he and Member Hess will be conducting interviews for the General Laborer position shortly.  



None given.


Mayor Russo had no report.


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

Auditor Vasichek reminded the council to provide her with their idea to submit project ideas for the Vibrancy funds.


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.


Advanced Business Methods                             $          578.00

Aflac                                                               $          232.98

Ameripride Services                                         $            50.32

At&t                                                                $           68.22

BND                                                                $     18,485.79

BCBS                                                               $       3,158.46

Border States                                                    $       1,882.76

Cardmember                                                    $          199.96

CMS                                                                $          129.97

EFTPS                                                              $        1,466.10

EFTPS                                                              $        1,394.90

Farmers Union Oil                                            $        2,331.12

Ferguson Waterworks                                       $        3,847.28

GF Utility Billing                                              $             41.00

Hawkins                                                          $           416.08

Lakota Ambulance                                           $             25.00

Lakota Auto Truck & Tire                                 $            90.44

Lakota Hardware                                              $           293.17

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           380.00

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           528.04

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $        9,796.91

Lakota Sanitation Service                                 $        7,725.54

MARC                                                             $        3,152.46

MRES                                                              $      72,149.77

NDPERS                                                          $         2,322.44

Nelson County Highway                                   $            411.50

Nelson County Sheriff                                      $         4,636.80

Nelson Electrical                                              $         1,122.62

Neonlink                                                          $             104.40

NILE                                                                $        16,714.20

Nodak Electric                                                 $             970.49

ND One Call                                                    $                1.20

ND Telephone                                                  $             59.46

North Holt Electric                                           $        3,900.00

NXTEC                                                            $            212.00

Nelson, Ron                                                     $              49.00

Pifers Auction                                                  $              50.00

Polar                                                                $            708.73

Praxair                                                             $            388.95

Rysavy Plumbing                                             $            202.78

The Glass Shop                                                $         3,198.00

United Laboratories                                          $            323.50

Verizon                                                            $           208.25

Witzel Construction                                          $           880.00

City Salaries                                                     $        8,649.36

City Salaries                                                     $        8,392.88

            TOTAL                                                            $    181,930.83

Next regular meeting is scheduled for April 6th, 2020, 6pm.  The Tax Equalization meeting will also be scheduled for April 6th, 2020 at 5:30pm. 

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

Meeting adjourned at 8:16 p.m.

            APPROVED BY:                                             SUBMITTED BY:



Jeff Russo, Mayor                                            Amie Vasichek, Auditor