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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Review Peshtigo Offer For Co. Lot

The Marinette County Forestry Committee approved $1,085,262.61 in timber sale bids on 25 County Forest parcels. The high bids represent a value 45.5% over the appraised value. The properties up for bids contained approximately 23,141 cords of wood on 1358 acres. The cord equivalent price was $46.90 per cord.

The number of bidders, 143, was down considerably from the spring sale, which saw 211 bids. There were three tracts in this fall sale which received no bids.

Frank’s Logging of Peshtigo was the high bidder on 15 of the 25 tracts. Wild Rivers was high bidder on six. Kowalkowski, DeLaet, Biewer, and Ambrosius were the high bidders on one tract. Based upon their preference list of only wanting four tracts, two of Wild Rivers’ high bidder bids were awarded to the second-high bid.

According to the Timber Sale Bid Summary sheet handed out at the Thursday, Oct. 11 meeting of the Forestry Committee, the highest prices were paid for Red Pine tracts, and the lowest price paid for the Hemlock tracts, both for pulp wood. For logs, the highest prices were paid for Red Oak and the lowest for White Pine. The summary estimated that 181,000 board feet of lumber would be harvested for dimension lumber.

In other matters, the Forestry Committee received and discussed an offer received from the City of Peshtigo for 3.1 acres of land adjacent to the County Highway’s Peshtigo Garage. The offer to purchase was for a total of $6,200, with the City also covering the survey and recording costs.

The County’s Corporation Counsel sent a letter to the Committee asking it to also discuss other issues with the offer to purchase, such as items to include in a reversion clause.

Forestry Director John Scott again informed the Committee that his assessment was that properties of this nature were running in the $8,000 to $12,000 per acre range. He also reviewed the most recent county land sales in the city and proximity.

Peshtigo Mayor Al Krizenesky updated the Committee on the prospective buyer and the possibility of the company adding 10 new jobs the first year and 25 new jobs the second year of operation.

Krizenesky reviewed recent land sales in the City’s Industrial Park and that they are usually in the $2,000 per acre range, with some as low as $1,000 per acre. He also stressed that Peshtigo’s TIF District is sun-setting and not a source of funding for the business that is interested in purchasing the land. The City intends to purchase the land from the County and then selling it to the business at the same price.

Krizenesky also asked that a reversion clause be included in the contract, preferring a two year clause. If the company did not begin construction of a building within two years of purchasing the land, the property would revert to the county.

This brought forth much discussion from the County Board Supervisors on the Committee. Supervisor Laurence Nicols preferred a one year reversion clause. He was also not very comfortable with the low purchase price offer. After some discussion, he was willing to stretch the reversion clause to 18 months.

After further discussion of the time of year and the current economic conditions, the committee eventually agreed to a two-year reversion clause.

All of this information will be forwarded to Corporation Counsel to be written up, who will then send it back to the Forestry Committee. It could then receive their final approval in early November before being forwarded to the County Board at its Nov. 13 meeting.

Two updates were given on matters approved at the previous Forestry Committee meeting. Stephenson Township was in agreement with a proposed land trade between the County and the Commissioners of Public Lands. The matter will be on the Oct. 30 County Board agenda. Following a survey by the Village of Wausaukee, conveyance of a strip of land by the ball field from the County to the Village will also be on the Oct. 30 County Board agenda.

The Committee approved authorization for staff and committee members to attend the Wisconsin County Forests Association annual meeting in early November at Chippewa Falls.

As a report only, Scott informed the Committee that an Access Permit was issued in early October so that a resident can access a piece of land across County Forest Land in the Town of Stephenson. No tree removal is required. This access permit is a one-time deal and the permit stays with the land permanently, unless the property is sold.

Scott also informed the Committee that the Transmission Line Project by ATC may affect county land, but on the bright side, it could bring in money for the county through timber sales especially if the new route goes through County Forest Land.

Assistant Forest Administrator Pete Villas reported on the work of the Forestry Department crews in the month of September. The Amberg Forestry Crew encountered two unusual circumstances in the month. The first was a cache of 100 to 200 paint cans that were dumped on County-owned land, not far from a stream. Most of the cans had paint in them. A crew member had to be dispatched to pick up the cans.

Secondly, the crew spent day delivering rocks for an historical burial site near Taylor Rapids. The burial site was for several children of one family who lived on the site many years ago. The rocks were placed around the site to protect it from ATV and snowmobile traffic.

The Wausaukee Foresters and Scaler reported 24 routine timber sale inspections, five show inspections and four final inspections. The crew performed 3083 acres of recon updating, set up three timber sales, and had six sale tracts in progress. The Scaler issued 40 scale tickets representing 4849.47 cords and 111,180 board feet of lumber.

The new DNR Liaison Officer introduced himself to the Forestry Committee. His name is Dan Mertz. He briefly reported that he is working with the county forestry crews on marking hardwoods. He also reported that as of the day of the meeting, the conditions in the county remain dry. A couple of small fires were reported recently.

At the request of the Committee members, a long discussion followed on the different areas of Jack Pines and Red Pines in the county and how well they grow in different areas of the county. This led to a discussion of the future when it comes to market conditions of different species of timber. This may have an effect on the type of trees the county plants in the near future.

The September vouchers payable totaled $599.14.

The Timber Contract Revenue showed a very solid month of September, totaling $269,192.75. This brings the year-to-date total to $1,973,016.80. This is within $40,000 of the 2011 year-end total. Because of favorable conditions and the amount of timber already processed by the scaler, the months of October and November are looking very good. The Committee was comfortable with anticipated 2012 total timber revenue in the $2.5 million range.






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