Timber contracts approved
Some of the Douglas fir tracts logged by McMinnville Water & Light last year in the Haskins Creek and Nestucca River watersheds have now been replanted, forester Brent Keller told its government commission Tuesday, and another tract will undergo replanting by the end of the month.
For years, the utility has relied on income from logging to supplement water and electricity sales. However, Keller warned the utility’s salad days are over, as the biggest and oldest trees are all gone now.
The commission authorized a contract with high bidder Columbia Vista for the logging of two more tracts this year, one at $591.17 per thousand board feet and the other $555.14.
Bids for the cutting of tall, straight trees suitable for use as utility poles will be advertised in March and April. Because there are so few companies capable of doing the work, the commission once again authorized direct solicitation of bids.
Commissioners also pre-authorized purchase of a used water tanker, to replace a 1976 model, and heard an update on information technology upgrades being made in response to a 2012 assessment.