Windsor opts to sell timber

Published 10:50 am Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WINDSOR – The Windsor Board of Commissioners have given preliminary approval for the sale of timber on land owned by the town.

During Thursday’s meeting, the board heard from David Jennette concerning the timber owned by the town on Vaughan Lane.

Jennette said he was working with Carolina Pine and Hardwood on a pair of tracts that are north of town property. He was then approached by the company about the town offering easement on the Vaughan property to allow them to enter the highway on a safer route.

“I had not looked at your timber,” Jennette said.

He said once he did, however, it became clear that the timber had not been thinned and that something should be done with it soon.

He said there were actually two parcels of timber. One is a 10-acre track that was planted in 1975 and the other is an 18-acre parcel planted in 1988.

Jennette said he took three cores from the timber to tell the age, how fast it was growing and if anything happened over the years to affect the growth rate. The results showed the 1988 track is growing at a rate of four to six percent and the 1975 parcel was growing a two or three percent.

“From a forest management standpoint, it should have been thinned many years ago,” Jennette said. “We missed that boat.”

He suggested clear-cutting the timber at this point and said the local timber market had increased 20 to 30 percent for pulp wood in the last several months. Most of the timber on those tracks fit that bill, he said.

He suggested a pay as cut sale and said that a chipper would be brought in to clean up limbs, tops and other debris. Jennette said most of that debris would go to Enviva in Ahoskie and that the market for it was also up.

“The chipper also makes reforestation easier,” he said.

Jennette told the board he was not sure how much the timber would bring, but estimated somewhere between $20,000 and $50,000.

“It is probably worth more now with the other two tracks than it would be if we held it and sold it alone,” Windsor Mayor Jim Hoggard said.

Jennette agreed and said it would be better to sell the timber and reforest.

“I don’t know anything about timber, so I have to put my trust in David,” Windsor Mayor Pro-Tempore Bob Brown said.

“I wouldn’t do anything with your dirt I wouldn’t do with my own,” Jennette said.

Jennette said he would work with those wishing to purchase the timber, particularly Carolina Pine and Hardwood, who would be handling the two neighboring tracks. He estimated that if the company did all three, it would take only three or four weeks to finish. He also said the cutting would likely not happen before next spring.

Commissioner David Overton made a motion to enter a contract with Timberlands Unlimited to handle the sale of the timber and Commissioner Cathy Wilson offered a second. It passed without objection.

Overton said the contract paid Timberlands Unlimited six percent of the gross and that the contract had an out if the board decided not to proceed with cutting the timber after it had been evaluated.