August 3, 2020 Regular Meeting

The Lakota City Council held its regular meeting August 3rd, 2020, at the City Hall. Mayor Hooey called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. All Council Members were present, except for Member Rainsberry who was absent.  City employee Matt Herda, Engineer Donovan Voeller and Engineer Brad Muscha were in attendance. Audience members were Kara Koski, Dan Ferguson, Roger Sateren, and MRES rep Karen Olofson.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve the minutes of the July 6th, 2020 Regular Meeting and July 15th, 2020 Special meeting seconded by Member Hess.   All voting in favor. Motion carried.

Mayor Hooey recognized Karen Olofson.

Mrs. Olofson presented the electric rate study.  Mrs. Olofson stated the last review was conducted in 2015 and MRES is predicting a 2% decline in sales for 2021.  Mrs. Olofson stated she is not recommending a rate increase for 2021 and the utility will still be able to build up a cash reserve for an upcoming WAPA substation improvement.

The council thanked Mrs. Olofson for her time.

Mrs. Olofson left the meeting at 6:31pm.

Mayor Hooey recognized Roger Sateren.

Mr. Sateren stated the current 1996 Toro rough mower is in bad shape and is recommending replacing it.  Mr. Sateren stated he can borrow a 2010 4700 Toro Ground Master from Rick Leach.  Mr. Sateren stated the purchase price for the mower is $25,000 and a new one is around $90,000.  Mr. Sateren stated if they were to replace the motor of the current mower it would be up to $8,000.  Member Vasichek stated he will keep an eye on course mowers coming thru different dealers.

Mr. Sateren stated he has a few diseased trees at the course that will need to be removed and he will get that handled hopefully this year.

Mr. Sateren left the meeting at 6:45pm.

Mayor Hooey recognized Dan Ferguson.

Mr. Ferguson stated he received a bill for trenching of his secondary power line from Nelson Electric and was under the impression the city approved the expense.

Auditor Vasichek stated it has been the city’s practice for years to absorb the cost of trenching the secondary power to a residence on a case by case basis and it is a onetime expense.  Member D. Mattern stated he does not recall the city taking care of the expense ever on trenching.  Auditor Vasichek provided examples of trenching the city has paid for throughout the years and reminded all that it is a case by case basis.  Auditor Vasichek stated Mr. Ferguson requested to have the trenching complete 2 years ago and was denied, now Mr. Ferguson was completing a driveway project and performing the trenching now versus later made economic sense.  Member Solberg stated the city has always taken care of the trenching to a structure if it was requested and made sense to do so.  Member Vasichek stated the city pays for the trenching as a one-time thing and if the resident would like the line re-directed to a different location in the future it is at their own expense.  Member Hess stated the Grace Lutheran Church trenched their secondary power line 2 years ago and the city paid for it at that time.  Auditor Vasichek reminded the council that it is not something that is requested and automatically taken care of, but it is on a case by case basis.

Member Hess questioned if the approval of paying for the trenching of the secondary power at Mr. Ferguson’s needs a motion.  Auditor Vasichek stated the bill is in the payment of bills for approval and can be taken care of at that time.

Mayor Hooey recognized Donovan Voeller.

Mr. Voeller stated Caldwell Tanks provided a quote for the work to the north of the city hall parking area.  Mr. Voeller stated Caldwell Tanks had a markup on the work that exceeded the 5% limit as per contract with the city of Lakota.  Mr. Voeller stated Caldwell Tanks is electing to remove themselves from the remainder of the project.  Mr. Voeller stated he contacted USDA and the city can get a local contractor to complete the work if we try to get up to 3 competitive bids.  Mr. Voeller stated the project will also see a $1,400 deduct from Caldwell Tanks project costs with this change.

Mayor Hooey stated he would like the council and Engineer Voeller to step outside to review the North exterior wall of the city hall building.

The council reviewed the site for the proposed parking lot.

The council stated they would like Engineer Voeller obtain additional quotes for the parking area north of the city hall within 2 weeks.

Auditor Vasichek stated she will get a representative from Ferguson Waterworks to attend the September meeting for the council to decide on water meters.

Engineer Voeller left the meeting at 7:10pm.

Mayor Hooey recognized Engineer Brad Muscha.

Engineer Muscha provided the council with an agenda of topics for discussion.  Engineer Muscha stated he believes the valley gutter in the alley classified as defective work should by started next week.

Mayor Hooey stated he believes the seal coat that was completed for the project should be considered as defective work.  Mayor Hooey stated he believes when the mix was applied it was either a bad mix or not enough applied and should be re-done.  Engineer Muscha stated he reviewed all the streets with chip seal, and it appears the embedment depth is 60%-70% and he would not deem it defective.  Member Vasichek stated he is aware that the city and council members are not happy with the project but wanted to know what steps can be taken to move forward or if any recourse can be taken with the contract.  Member Vasichek stated he acknowledges everyone’s disappointment on the project, but airing frustrations each meeting does not resolve the issue.  Engineer Muscha stated contractually speaking there is nothing the city can do as it is not considered defective work.

Member Vasichek stated he would encourage the council to take the liquidated damages from the project and put the funds aside earmarked for future chip seal project on the repairs to the chip seal. Member Solberg stated he agreed with the idea.

Engineer Muscha stated he has a BND loan request of $20,516.57 that would need to be approved.

Member Hess made a motion to approve the BND loan request of $20,516.57 for the street project, seconded by Member Vasichek.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Engineer Muscha stated the seal coat of the entire city was roughly $400,000 or $1.55/square yard to give the city an idea to budget for future projects. 

Engineer Muscha left the meeting at 7:26pm.



Mayor Hooey stated he would need a motion to approve the second reading of the fireworks discharge ordinance 12-0404A.

Member Vasichek made a motion to approve the second 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
  2. A person who violates this ordinance shall be subject to a fine of $50.00 for each occurrence.



Mayor Hooey requested mower bids for review.  Supt. Herda provided lease options for a 60” cut mower from Dakota Implement, Bobcat and Leading Edge Equipment.  Member Vasichek stated he will abstain from the motion of the mower but reviewed the Leading Edge Equipment proposal to the council.  Member Vasichek stated the buyout of the current leased mower is $3,749 and an offer of a 3-year lease of a new JD Z930R ZTrak for $1,973.83/year.  Supt. Herda stated the 3-year lease for a 60” Zero turn mower at Dakota Imp was $2,182 and the Bobcat lease was $2,160.

Member Hess made a motion to approve the 3-year lease of a John Deere Z930R ZTrak for $1,973.82 with Leading Edge Equipment, seconded by Member Solberg.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor except Member Vasichek who abstained.  Motion carried.

Mayor Hooey stated he has concerns with the current pump north of town and thought it would be a good idea to place dirt on the pump to hold it in place.  Mr. Ferguson stated he is happy with how the pump is running and suggested to not run it any harder than it is now.  Mr. Ferguson stated he would be worried about pushing the pump hard and having it come apart in the water.  Mr. Ferguson stated this current pump is moving more water than the previous one did and has been running non-stop since July 8th.

Auditor Vasichek reviewed the 2021 preliminary budget with the council and noted an annual transfer for chip sealing reserve is not currently in the budget as the street fund cannot handle the expense.

Member Hess made a motion to approve the 2021 Preliminary Budget, seconded by Member Vasichek.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Auditor Vasichek stated there is information of improvements to the WAPA substation that should be reviewed.  Auditor Vasichek stated she has supplied the e-mail on July 27th, 2020 to the council and Supt. Herda to review the options for improvement.  Supt. Herda stated he has not had a chance to review the information but will do so by next meeting.  Topic tabled.

Mayor Hooey stated he is concerned with the grading of the ground north of the pool and suggested to concrete the entire area.  Mayor Hooey stated the council would need to plan on what to do with the area within the next two weeks so it can tie into the concrete being poured for the pool project.  Mr. Ferguson stated the investment to do this would be a good idea now when the pool project is going on.  Member Vasichek stated he is comfortable with Mayor Hooey and Supt. Herda soliciting information on the project and bids from concrete installers so it can be taken care of this month.

Member Vasichek made a motion to approve an expense of up to $15,000 to install a concrete deck north of the Lakota public swimming pool utilizing Occupancy Tax funding, seconded by Member Solberg.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Mayor Hooey stated he was contacted by K Thor Thompson and he would like to donate his exotic animal taxidermy collection to the city of Lakota for display.  Mayor Hooey stated he has been searching around for options and he has spoken with Chris Ahl the owner of the Lodge on Main Street.  Mayor Hooey suggested offering a discount on utilities to Mr. Ahl to house this display.  Member Solberg stated he did not think a discount on utilities would be ethical and thought the option of putting the collection there would only benefit Mr. Ahl and his guests.  Member Vasichek stated he agreed with Member Solberg and said if the city does not bare an expense to take over ownership of this collection, he is fine with having them displayed at Mr. Ahl’s business.  Mayor Hooey stated he will discuss options with Mr. Ahl.  Member D. Mattern questioned if the city liability insurance would cover the display.  Member Solberg stated Mr. Ahl’s liability insurance would be the one responsible as it would be his building.

Mr. Ferguson and Mrs. Koski left the meeting at 8:41pm



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

Supt. Herda stated the Chuck Ryba has been contacting him this year about concern of a water leak on his property.  Supt. Herda stated at the time he felt it was not a water leak and just the high-water table, but now he has discovered a leak in that area.  Supt. Herda stated water operator Burkland suggested replacing the entire line running south because it is currently cast pipe and is breaking frequently.  Supt. Herda estimated $15,000 to complete the project.

Member Hess made a motion to approve the expense up to $15,000 to replace the water line along 7th St East, starting at E Ave W and connecting at D Ave. West, seconded by Member D. Mattern.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.


No additional report provided.


Sheriff not in attendance.



Member Hess stated the Brossart sump pump issue has been resolved since last meeting.

Member Hess stated he was reviewing timecards and it appears the city crew has not been taking lunches again.  Member Hess reminded Supt. Herda the entire crew is to take a lunch break in accordance with labor laws.  Supt. Herda disagreed that it is a labor law as he conferred with his sister who is high up in human resources.  Supt. Herda stated it did not matter any way as he is now in a salaried position.  Mayor Hooey stated he spoke with the city crew and encouraged them to take their two 15-minute breaks that they are entitled to eat and work thru the lunch period.  Auditor Vasichek was requested to check with the ND Dept of Labor on lunch break requirements.

Member D. Mattern stated the city crew is getting behind on completing work and the golf course is losing an employee shortly and he would like to hire someone to work as needed with the city crew and the golf course.  Member Vasichek stated the city has recently hired Steve Richardson and should not be shorthanded with the ability to get work complete.  Member D. Mattern stated there is a lot of work that needs to be done before freezing up and another seasonal person would help with that.  Member Solberg stated the starting wage for seasonal help is $12/hr.  It was requested to have Auditor Vasichek put an advertisement in the paper for seasonal help at $12/hr.  Mayor Hooey stated the names Mike Ritteman and Rick Schmidt came up as suggestions for the position.

Member R. Mattern questioned if the cost share payments for the water tower have been received.  Auditor Vasichek stated she knows she has received the payment from Sundeen but is unsure about State Bank of Lakota.  Auditor Vasichek stated she will check on this and get back to the council.



None given.


Mayor Hooey had nothing to report.



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

Auditor Vasichek stated the funeral for Ed Pawlikowski will be a graveside service on August 7th at Bechyne Cemetery at 11am.

Auditor Vasichek stated she has been asked if there could be a scheduled open gym at the community center.  The council denied this request.

Auditor Vasichek stated the electronic recycling day is scheduled for August 12th at the community center.

Auditor Vasichek stated the city should plan the city wide.  It was decided to have it the week of August 10th.


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 D. Mattern 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.

            ADAPCO                                                         $        1,499.50

Advanced Business Methods                             $          289.00

Aflac                                                               $          428.26

Agcom Credit                                                   $          200.77

AM Conservation Group                                   $        2,697.08

Armstrong, Tanner                                           $           250.00

Associated Pool Builders                                  $    162,433.80

At&t                                                                $            68.82

BND                                                                $      19,230.00

BCBS                                                               $        4,362.16

Border States                                                    $        1,028.20

Cardmember                                                    $         3,904.37

CBA                                                                $            378.28

CMS                                                                $           177.54

Dakota Supply                                                 $        1,802.34

Dept. of Justice                                                $           447.60

Dept. of Environmental Quality                         $             55.60

Don Dvorak Gravel                                          $           291.60

EFTPS                                                              $        2,629.95

EFTPS                                                              $        2,554.09

Farmers Union Insurance                                  $        6,056.00

Farmers Union Oil                                            $        1,003.62

GF Utility Billing                                              $           145.00

Hawkins                                                          $         1,461.48

IHeartmedia                                                     $            199.00

Job Service ND                                                $          1,044.63

Johnson Excavating                                          $          1,000.00

Lakota American                                              $            328.20

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $            300.00

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $            398.54

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $         3,338.06

Lakota Sanitation Service                                 $        8,218.94

Metropolitan Compounds                                  $           619.80

MRES                                                              $      28,673.68

Moore Engineering                                           $        3,613.87

Mutch Oil                                                         $        4,130.39

MMUA                                                            $        1,000.00

NDPERS                                                          $        2,967.89

Nelson County Sheriff                                      $         2,318.40

Nelson County Water Resource District             $         2,700.00

Nelson Electric                                                 $         1,800.58

NILE, Inc.                                                        $         2,279.11

Nodak Electric                                                 $         1,272.12

North-Holt Electric                                           $       27,540.00

Office of State Tax                                           $            296.44

Polar                                                                $            679.84

Pomp’s Tire Service                                         $              17.93

Praxair                                                             $            102.00

Pro Turf Systems                                              $         3,980.00

Quadient Leasing                                             $            203.07

Quill                                                                $            178.72

Railroad Management                                       $           258.95

Schoepp, Deb                                                   $             40.00

T.H. Renovations                                             $        1,470.00

Vasichek, Amie                                                $             11.40

Verizon Wireless                                              $           250.02

City Salaries                                                     $      15,166.09

City Salaries                                                     $      14,793.80

            TOTAL                                                            $    344,586.53

Next regular meeting is scheduled for September 8th, 2020 at 6pm. 

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

Meeting adjourned at 9:19 p.m.

            APPROVED BY:                                             SUBMITTED BY:



Brad Hooey, Mayor                                          Amie Vasichek, Auditor