Photo provided
                                Work at Oak Harbor’s sewage treatment plant in Windjammer Park involves digging in earth where remains of Native Americans were unearthed.

Photo provided Work at Oak Harbor’s sewage treatment plant in Windjammer Park involves digging in earth where remains of Native Americans were unearthed.

Discovery of human remains doesn’t slow sewer plant project

The project engineer for the new Oak Harbor’s sewage plant project has lost count of how many times human remains have been found during construction.

The inadvertent discoveries, however, haven’t stopped the work on the large-scale project.

Brett Arvidson, project engineer, told the Oak Harbor City Council Tuesday that human remains were found at the site the week prior.

During an interview, Arvidson said such finds don’t interrupt the work, which is on schedule to be completed next year. He said he doesn’t know how many times remains were found.

Earlier in the project, for example, 28 sets of remains were unearthed in a period of a couple of weeks.

He explained that, in a memorandum of understanding between the city and six Native American tribes, a process was established for the city to follow with each discovery of remains.

The agreement is helpful in detailing the response, City Administrator Doug Merriman said, and has made everyone involved aware of the importance of cultural sensitivity with regard to the remains.

Arvidson said the first step is to summon a physical anthropologist to the site.

The police and coroner are notified so they can determine that it isn’t a crime scene.

The state Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation is also notified and, ultimately, takes custody of the remains.

Arvidson said there have been as many as four archaeologists on site at one time; the city has its own archaeologist on staff.

An archaeological firm took core samples at the site and determined before digging began that the unearthing of culturally sensitive material was likely.

As a result, the city worked with the tribes to set up a process.

Photo provided
                                Work at Oak Harbor’s sewage treatment plant in Windjammer Park involves digging in earth where remains of Native Americans were unearthed.

Photo provided Work at Oak Harbor’s sewage treatment plant in Windjammer Park involves digging in earth where remains of Native Americans were unearthed.

More in News

Orchestra performing array of string music Saturday and Sunday

Whidbey’s Saratoga Orchestra will present a set of programs called “Simply Strings”… Continue reading

Lutefisk will be served up at sold-out Nordic Lodge dinner

It’s slimy, gooey and shakes like Jello — fishy, white jello. But… Continue reading

Ham Radio Club plans “Bigfoot 200” tracking presentation

Whidbey Ham Radio Club will give a presentation on tracking Saturday, Jan.… Continue reading

Island County Republicans elect new officers

The Island County Republican Party has elected new officers for 2019. Allen… Continue reading

Rev. Peter H. Rood
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church gets a new rector-pastor

The Rev. Peter H. Rood, an Episcopal priest and spiritual teacher, is… Continue reading

County needs more money for treatment center

Island County commissioners are asking state lawmakers for another $2.5 million for… Continue reading

The tide is high: Coastlines to come?

Sunday’s rare astronomical event may cause more than a spectacle in the… Continue reading

Men who led police chases are found and charged

Oak Harbor police caught two men who led police in high-speed chases… Continue reading

Victim’s family denied change of name

Her family members will forever know her as Kathie Ann Hill, but… Continue reading

Most Read