Isanti to host state qualifying soccer tournament

The city of Isanti is gearing up for two of its larger events in July.

During the Isanti City Council meeting May 21, the council approved a special event application for the Cambridge-Isanti Soccer Club, as well as a request from the Isanti Rodeo Association to close Unity Park Ball Field during the rodeo and to use the bleachers.

John Kinsey, president of the Cambridge-Isanti Soccer Club, explained the North District State Qualifying Tournament will be held at the Isanti Soccer Complex July 13-14 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and July 12, 15, 16 and 17 from 4 to 9 p.m.

Kinsey said around 8,000 to 9,000 will be in attendance that includes players, coaches, staff and spectators. Parking for the event will be at the soccer complex, with overflow parking in Bluebird Park.

The soccer club will be hiring an on-side first responder, and additional restroom facilities will be brought in.

Since the soccer tournament will occur around the same time as the Isanti Rodeo performances, July 12 and July 13, Isanti Mayor George Wimmer encouraged Kinsey to work with the Isanti Rodeo Association and local law enforcement to make sure there is good traffic circulation between the two events and all parking concerns have been addressed.

“We just need to make sure the Soccer Club and the Rodeo Association are communicating with each other,” Wimmer said. “It’s a wonderful problem to have so many people coming to our city.”

Council Member Sue Larson thanked Kinsey for continuing to bring soccer tournaments to the city.

“We, as a city, enjoy working with the Cambridge-Isanti Soccer Club,” Larson said. “We hope you keep up the continued communication with the city, and keep up the good work.”

City staff also received a request from Al Jankovich, assistant fire chief with the Isanti Fire District, to close Unity Park Ball Field during the July 12 and July 13 evening rodeo performances.

It was noted in past years, individuals have used the ball field at Unity Park, which has resulted in damage to the car windows of vehicles parked within Unity Park during the Rodeo. The Rodeo Association has been held responsible for the damage and has replaced many car windows due to balls being hit in the parking area. City staff indicated there has been no requests made to use Unity Park during the two Rodeo performances.

The Rodeo also requested the use of the bleachers at Unity Field to be used for extra seating at the rodeo grounds.

Following discussion, the council approved a motion to allow for the closure of Unity Park during the Rodeo, and to allow the Rodeo Association the use of the bleachers during the Rodeo performances.

Park safety concerns

Wimmer relayed concerns he has heard from parents regarding issues at some city parks.

He informed the council he heard from one mother who said she’s afraid to go to Mattson Park because of the number of kids in the park, and the language and behavior by some of the kids.

Lieutenant Gene Hill said Mattson Park has become a hang-out for kids after school who are walking home.

Wimmer brought up the fact that in the past the Isanti Police Reserves have patrolled the parks, and this should be done again.

Hill mentioned under city code, officers can issue trespassing violations and exclude “trouble-makers” from city parks. He said he would further discuss the issue with the city administrator and city attorney and proceed as directed.

“I think we need to use whatever tools we have at hand,” Wimmer said. “We definitely should not have people afraid to go to our parks.”

In other action the council:

• Approved an interim use permit to allow for a Farmer’s Market on the property at 18 Broadway St. SW, (Eagle Park). The Farmer’s Market will be held every Saturday, beginning June 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Locally grown products as well as artisans, food vendors and other forms of entertainment would be provided during each event.

• Approved an interim use permit request from Minnco Credit Union to allow for temporary motor vehicle sales on the properties located at 309 and 311 Credit Union Drive NE. A motor vehicle sales event will be held on the property on June 14 from 3 to 8 p.m. and June 15 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. A number of local used and new car dealerships will be bringing product for display on the property. The inventory on site will consist of 125 cars and trucks, and 30 motorcycles and ATVs.

• Approved a resolution authorizing staff to bring utility billing and the operations of the community center in-house. With this approval, it approved the hiring of two positions, utility billing clerk (40 hours per week) and community events and parks coordinator (20 hours per week). It also approved a resolution allowing the transition of the Parks and Recreation Board to Parks, Recreation, and Culture Board.