By Greg Hunt
Due to the “senseless loss through vandalism,” the Isanti County Board approved a rent-free lease agreement to provide office space for the Isanti Society Historical Society at its Aug. 3 regular meeting.
The Historical Society’s Heritage Building on the fairgrounds was destroyed by arson the morning of July 8. The office space provided by the county at the Oakview Building gives the Society a center from which to operate while working with fire-damaged historical articles, while also working with insurance adjusters and building contractors.
“On behalf of the Historical Society, everyone at last night’s (Aug. 2) meeting was very thrilled to accept this gracious offering of office space,” spoke Commissioner Mike Warring, the county board’s representative to the ICHS board. “The Historical Society is a vital and important asset to the citizens of Isanti County.”
Warring added that monetary donations helped cover crate and tote supplies for historical items salvaged from the Heritage Center soon after the fire. The Historical Society moved into the new space on Aug. 8. The lease agreement will be reviewed quarterly by the county board.
Pondering the library’s future
Discussion during the “Committee Reports” section of the board meeting, commissioners offered interesting ponderings for the East Central Regional Library’s space issues at its present headquarters in downtown Cambridge. Dealing with the library’s need for more space is very much in the beginning stages, Commissioner Warring established.
Commissioner George Larson speculated that if a new building is desired, could ECRL team with the Historical Society in one cultural setting? Property north of the county’s Oakview Building on the south side of Cambridge is a possible site.
Commissioner Larry Southerland said another train of thought was locating the library on the Cambridge Campus of the Anoka Ramsey Community College—distinctly the open space to the north side of the new buildings. Alternative funding resources may be necessary for any such project, depending on the structure of the state’s new bonding bill, he added.
Commissioner Warring also mentioned that Kanabec County offered a building in Mora, and Pine County has available room in its old courthouse if ECRL desired to move its headquarters from Cambridge.
In other action, the board:
• Approved the hiring of Timothy Nelson as Assistant County Attorney and the promotion of Kelsey Lakeberg to Financial Analyst in the Auditor’s Office. Also, Robert Peichel was hired as an intermittent part-time Bailiff. Resignations were accepted from Tonette Martin (Financial Worker–Family Services) and Gina Alleva (Jail Program Coordinator–Sheriff’s Office).
• Approved the low bid of $11,673 for a solar lighting project and $11,250 for a landscaping project at Vegsund Family County Park. Up to 75 percent of those costs will be reimbursed through the state’s Parks Legacy Grant Award.