TICONDEROGA-Responding to concerns expressed by residents, Ticonderoga has decided not to adopt a law banning metal detectors on town property.
Several people spoke at a public hearing June 9 on the proposed law, all in opposition.
"Issues arise that should be discussed at a public hearing-metal detecting on town lands was one of them, due to recent requests and the historical significance of Ticonderoga," Ti Supervisor Deb Malaney said.
The public hearing convinced town board members a local law is not needed to address use of metal detectors.
"In addition to finding existing New York State laws that covered trespassing and removal of town property, public comment was against adding more laws," Malaney said. "The conclusion is that surface detecting is allowed on town lands."
While "surface detection" will be allowed on town-owned property, the town will not allow treasure hunters to dig.
Tonya Thompson, town clerk, said her office has been contacted by people wishing to search for historic artifacts. The board has instructed her to tell people that "surface detection only" is allowed.
Trustees proposed a local law to ban metal detectors after voicing concern that the community's rich history is attracting treasure hunters.
"The town of Ticonderoga finds that the preservation of historic artifacts and the esthetic condition of real property...is of the upmost importance," the proposed law read. "The town further finds that the use of metal detectors on town owned real property may result in the unnecessary disruption of town-owned property and finds that the adoption of an ordinance prohibiting the use of metal detectors...promotes the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the town of Ticonderoga."
Ticonderoga was a key location in both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.
Fort Ticonderoga, which is privately owned and was the site of America's first victory in Revolutionary War, already bans metal detectors.
If the proposed town law had been adopted, violators would have been fined $50 for each offense.