Isanti Council to dig deeper into metal detecting request

Could there be buried treasures on city-owned land in Isanti? One individual would like to find out, but the Isanti City Council is unsure if that is a good idea. 

At its Jan. 19 meeting, the council postponed making a decision on a resolution establishing a metal detecting policy and liability waiver until its Feb. 2 meeting in order to find out why the individual is interested in metal detecting on city land. 

Introducing the topic, City Administrator Josi Wood said she was unable to find a sample policy from other cities, but could find nothing but a sample liability waiver. Thus, she created a waiver and policy to fit the City of Isanti. 

“I added a few things that should be discussed by the council, such as where they would be permitted on city property, and adding a sentence stating, “I agree to follow all state and federal laws, including, but not limited to, not detecting on or near any sacred area or area having archeological components. 

“The reason being, I do know that we have one of those such significant areas within Legacy Park,” Wood said, noting the waiver also includes a stipulation that if anything of historical importance or significant value is found, it must be turned in to the city.

City Council Member Jimmy Gordon asked how the city could define historical importance or significant value.

Wood admitted she don’t know how to define it, but it was in the waiver found from another city. “If you found something that was very unique to the city, or something, would that – because it is city land, it is taxpayer land, who’s to say that one individual gets it because they found that, but it should belong to the city,” she said.

Council Member Paul Bergley commented that people who metal detect generally do it for monetary reasons, and also asked if there was anything regarding the depth someone can dig included in the resolution.

Wood said there was not and it was noted that people are supposed to call before digging, with the depth of six feet being used as an example.  

“If you go down six feet, you’re probably digging up something that shouldn’t be dug up,” Bergley said. 

“If you go down six feet, you’re burying somebody,” Council Member Steve Lundeen responded.

Public Works Director Matt Sylvester informed the council there is not depth stated in “call before you dig,” and Lundeen noted power lines and gas lines are usually only 18 inches deep.

“I’d like to get a hold of the gentleman before we even make a move on it, see what he’s specifically looking for to make sure we cover our bases,” said Mayor Jeff Johnson.

“Perhaps its like geo-caching, it’s just the thrill of finding the object to then leave it there and move on to the next object to find,” Wood said.

Lundeen agreed the best thing would be to have him come to answer questions and suggested postponing the item to the next meeting.

Street dances scheduled

Also at the Jan. 19 meeting, the Isanti Council approved special event permits for the 2021 street dances. Assuming there are no scheduling changes like last summer, the concert series will kick off with Bad Jack playing on June 19. Next will be The Farmer’s Daughters, who will play on July 17. Skitzo Fonic, which touts themselves as playing “high energy pop and timeless rock classics,” will take the stage on August 7. And since the addition of a fourth concert was so successful last summer, the city has decided to do it again with Good for Gary playing on Sept. 11.

As with other years, a beer wagon and food vendors will be present. Each of the concerts will go from 7 to 11 p.m., weather permitting. Cancellations or postponements will be announced on the city’s website and Facebook page as early as possible.

Compost site hours approved

The council also approved establishing hours of operation for the compost site. The site will open on Tuesday, April 20 and close for the season on Sunday, Nov. 7.

The site will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., or sunset. It will also be open from noon to 5 p.m. each Saturday, with the exception of July 3, and on Sunday, April 25, May 2, May 9, Oct. 24, Oct. 31, and Nov. 7, from noon to 5 p.m.

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