June 1, 2020 Regular Meeting

The Lakota City Council held its regular meeting June 1st, 2020, at the City Hall. Mayor Russo called the meeting to order at 6:15 p.m. All Council Members were present, except Member Rainsberry who was absent.  City employee Matt Herda was in attendance and Engineer Brad Muscha was on speaker phone. Audience member was Brad Hooey.

Member Hess made a motion to approve the minutes of the May 4th, 2020 regular meeting, and May 20th, 2020 special meeting seconded by Member R. Mattern.  All voting in favor. Motion carried.

Mayor Russo recognized Brad Muscha.

Engineer Muscha stated he has provided the council with an agenda of topics.  Engineer Muscha went thru the punch list items with the council and stated all items have been completed by Knife River so liquidated damages would end.  Engineer Muscha stated the total amount of liquidated damages would be $48,000 for final completion. 

Member Hess asked when Knife River will return for defective work items.  Engineer Muscha stated he will get a timeline for those items.  Engineer Muscha stated the acceptance by council to accept the defective work of the mountable curb and gutter at A Ave East and 3rd St East resulted in a deduction of $19,092.41 to the project.

Member D. Mattern questioned when Knife River will return to fix the asphalt areas.  Engineer Muscha stated those items were recently added to the defective work list, but he will reach out to get a schedule.

Engineer Muscha stated he is waiting on Knife River to approve the change order #6 and then he will proceed with final payment.  Engineer Muscha stated if Knife River does not complete the repair of the defective work items by that time, he would recommend withholding the defective work item amounts from the final payment.

Engineer Muscha stated Moore Engineering has incurred $35,000 in additional expense that would be covered under liquidated damages.  Mayor Russo stated he does not agree with Moore Engineering to be paid extra for the project delay as the city receives no final deduction in cost.  Engineer Muscha stated liquidated damages are intended to be there to assist with the financial burden imposed on the city due to the contractor not meeting the deadline, so in a sense Knife River is paying Moore Engineering.  Audience member Brad Hooey approached Member D. Mattern at the council table.  Member D. Mattern stated to Engineer Muscha that the audience member would like to know who the engineer is working for, Knife River or the city?  Member D. Mattern questioned if the engineer is getting paid by the hour or a day rate with the extra charges.  Engineer Muscha stated he will provide the council with a log of when he was working on the project. 

Mayor Russo requested Engineer Muscha to attend the next meeting so he can meet with the council as it is an election year and there might be new members of the council. 

Employee Herda questioned when the warranty work timeline would expire.  Engineer Muscha stated all warranty work expires after 1 year of the completion of it.  Engineer Muscha clarified all re-done work would extend one year on the warranty period from when the work is completed in full.

Engineer Muscha left the meeting at 6:38pm.

Mr. Hooey stated he was upset when Knife River recently came to review his driveway and he felt they blew him off.  Mr. Hooey stated Matt Herda did complete the work on behalf of the city and he is happy with the outcome.

Mayor Russo instructed Auditor Vasichek to supply the council with the itemized list of work completed by Moore Engineering to the council once she receives it.



Auditor Vasichek stated the estimate for the community center wall pads is in the packets and the amount came to $7,250.50.  Member Solberg asked where the funds would come from to pay for this expense.  Auditor Vasichek suggested utilizing sales tax funds from Economic Development or Infrastructure or the Lodging and Occupancy funds.

Member Hess made a motion to approve the purchase of wall pads for the community center gym of $7,250.50 from Resilite, seconded by Member Vasichek.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Employee Herda stated he could only get one additional bid for street striping and it was from B & R for an estimate of $3,000-$4,000.  After discussion, it appeared both bidders used the same chlorinated rubber product for striping.  T. H. Renovations earlier bid was $1,470.

Member Vasichek made a motion to approve T.H. Renovations bid for street striping of $1,470, seconded by Member Solberg.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Member Hess abstained from voting.  Motion carried.

Employee Herda stated he received 2 additional bids for the city hall roof repair project.  D & D Roofing - $46,858 and Skinner - $62,310.  Last months bid from Tecta America Dakotas - $50,620. 

Audience member Hooey questioned if the council had decided on keeping the city hall location to where it is.  Mayor Russo stated the majority of the council has decided to keep the city hall at its current location rather than move to the city shop.  Mr. Hooey stated he does not feel the city should invest any money into keep the city hall at the current location.  Member Hess stated the thoughts he received around town was to keep the city hall at the current location. 

Member Vasichek stated he does not think it is in the best interests of the community to leave another building empty in the downtown area especially on the heels of the grocery store closing.  Mr. Hooey suggested selling the building to the Nelson County Water Board.  Member Solberg stated he did not feel the water board was equipped with handling the roof repair cost to be able to occupy the building.  Mr. Hooey suggested asking the community thru a survey.

Mayor Russo stated the repair of the roof is still needed and that is the current topic of discussion.  Mayor Russo stated if a survey is to be completed the deadline to receive it should be June 15th so the council can move forward with the roof topic at the Organizational meeting on June 23rd.  

Member Vasichek made a motion to issue a mailer survey to the community on the location of the city hall as per request by Brad Hooey, seconded by Member Hess.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.



Auditor Vasichek stated she was approached by Jayme Tenneson on wanting permission to have a cruise Lakota night each month and for the possible closure of some streets with the assistance of the city crew.  The council had no issues with assisting with the event.

Member D. Mattern made a motion to approve the gaming site authorization for Rundell Holicky and LISTEN Inc. for 7/1/20-6/30/21, seconded by Member Hess.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.

Auditor Vasichek went over the bid options for the pool project.  Two bids came in; however, one was immediately rejected for not having a ND Contractor license.  Auditor Vasichek stated the remaining bid was from Associated Pool Builders for $369,200.  Auditor Vasichek stated this was roughly $15,000 above the estimated price.

Mr. Hooey questioned where the funding was coming from for this project.  Auditor Vasichek explained a grant from LWCF was approximately $160,000 towards the project and roughly $198,000 has been raised.  Mr. Hooey suggested making the pool free to the public since it is the only pool in the county.  Mayor Russo explained there are many expenses to the pool that would need to be covered to operate.

Member Hess made a motion to approve a bid of $369,200 from Associated Pool Builders for the swimming pool improvement project, seconded by Member Solberg.  On a roll call vote, all members voting in favor.  Motion carried.




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

Employee Herda stated he received an estimate for street patching from Tri-State Paving for the council to review.  Employee Herda went over 6 areas of the estimate he encouraged the council to do this year in the amount of $16,830.

Employee Herda stated North-Holt is almost complete with the improvements at Tronson Grain.  Auditor Vasichek was instructed to send out a bill to Tronson Grain of $5,000 for the cost share of the project.

Employee Herda provided the council with an estimate from North-Holt Electric to complete the 2400 to 7200 conversion on the west end of town.  Mr. Hooey questioned what the goal for electrical improvements for the city was, as he felt putting all the lines underground would be more appealing.  Member Solberg stated the city puts the lines underground as they are able each year to help with the efficiency of the system.  Mayor Russo reminded the council of the upcoming expense for improvements of the south substation that will amount to close to one million dollars starting in 2022.



No additional report provided.


No additional report provided.



Member Vasichek stated he has come up with a letter to send to the school board on the lease agreement and will counter with a 3 year lease agreement with the first year being $20,000 and then have a step increase each year after of 1.54%.  Member Vasichek suggested using Office 365 software as a shared calendar with the school for any activities coming in.  Member Vasichek also will include the improvements the city is doing to the facility.

Member Solberg stated the frontage road is in terrible condition and is wondering what can be done to it. Mayor Russo suggested contacting the state representative and he will try to get the contact number for Member Solberg.

Member R. Mattern stated Darrell Leith felt he does not need to pay for pea rock since it was material from the street project and the citizens have already paid for it in the assessments.  Mayor Russo questioned if Mr. Leith needed pea rock.  Member R. Mattern stated he was not aware if he did.  No action was taken.

Member Hess stated he was still concerned about the algae growing in the gutter of C Ave West and Main Street.  Member Hess stated he was told that if he had a problem with a sump pump draining into a gutter, he had to speak to Council Member D. Mattern.  Member D. Mattern stated that he did say to speak directly to him and explained the intersection has been holding water for years.  Member Hess stated that area is holding water and will create structural failure of the intersection and felt it was fair request of the resident not to put the sump pump hose directly into the gutter.  Member Hess stated it could be redirected to the alley.  Member Solberg stated he did not think it was an issue.  Member Vasichek stated his fear of creating an ordinance about sump pumps running into the street would force the community to start running them directly into the sewer system.  No action was taken.



None given.


Mayor Russo stated he had nothing to address.



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

Auditor Vasichek stated she has received a plaque to be presented to Kim Burkland for his years of service.

Auditor Vasichek stated there will be a tree planting article in the upcoming newspaper and she has also written a boulevard tree planting program for the council to review. 


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                             $          289.00

Agcom Credit                                                   $          186.95

At&t                                                                $            68.22

BND                                                                $    254,217.95

BCBS                                                               $       6,769.56

Border States                                                    $         4,027.17

Cardmember                                                    $         1,221.25

CMS                                                                $           114.24

Dept. of Justice                                                $           447.60

Dept. of Environmental                                     $             55.60

EFTPS                                                              $        2,154.00

EFTPS                                                              $        2,035.95

Farmers Union Oil                                            $        1,002.13

Ferguson Waterworks                                       $           530.32

GF Utility Billing                                              $             41.00

GF Welding & Machine                                    $           339.17

Hawkins                                                          $             97.00

Herda, Matt                                                      $             26.80

Home of Economy                                           $           162.07

Johnson Excavating                                          $      11,651.97

Lakota American                                              $           342.42

Lakota Auto Truck & Tire                                 $             52.08

Lakota Bucks                                                   $           100.00

Lakota Golf Club                                              $           975.00

Lakota Hardware                                              $           313.38

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           300.00

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $           449.23

Lakota Municipal Utilities                                $        5,652.51

Lakota Rock Creek Golf                                   $           275.00

Lakota Sanitation Service                                 $        8,067.35

Lamotte’s Paint and Glass                                 $              9.54

Mailfinance/Neopost                                        $           600.00

Manbeck Law                                                  $           240.00

Metropolitan Compounds                                  $           524.92

MARC                                                             $        1,298.03

MRES                                                              $      41,794.47

Moore Engineering                                           $        8,062.50

Naastad Brothers                                              $      89,102.83

Nelson County Sheriff                                      $         2,318.40

Nelson Electric                                                 $            143.99

Neonlink                                                          $              52.60

Nodak Electric                                                 $            491.99

ND Telephone                                                  $              59.25

Polar                                                                $            560.43

Pro Turf Systems                                              $         3,980.00

Quill                                                                $            594.11

R & R Products                                                $         2,151.34

Riely, Candace                                                 $            104.00

Rysavy Plumbing                                             $            700.10

Sundeen, Denise                                               $              25.00

Sateren, Roger                                                  $            140.34

Schmidt, Russell                                               $              70.14

The Glass Shop                                                $         1,213.12

Tri-County Water District                                 $          3,750.00

USABlueBook                                                 $            208.42

Vericheck                                                        $              12.35

City Salaries                                                     $      12,816.05

City Salaries                                                     $      12,923.72

            TOTAL                                                            $    485,912.56

Next regular meeting is scheduled for July 6th, 2020 at 6pm.  The Council Organization meeting will take place at 6pm on June 23rd, 2020 at city hall.

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

Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

            APPROVED BY:                                             SUBMITTED BY:



Jeff Russo, Mayor                                            Amie Vasichek, Auditor