Tioga County to sell timber

WELLSBORO – About 80 of 200 acres of woodland owned by the county will be put up for bid by next year, following action by the Tioga County commissioners Tuesday.

The commissioners approved a land and timber management agreement for county lands with forester Kerry Gyekis to create a sustained long-term management plan.

For his services, Gyekis will receive $2,000 plus 7 percent of gross sales of timber harvested.

The timber is mostly ash, which is at risk for attack by emerald ash borer, a beetle that destroys that species of tree, said County Clerk Derek Williams.

Commissioner Erick Coolidge noted the percentage Gyekis is to receive is a “standard” commission for the service.

Williams said there is “a lot of ash” on the property in question, behind the site of the future 911 center and across Route 6 from Shumway Hill Road, and “because of the ash borer, the concern was we needed to take out these large ash before they were not good for timber.”

“We will also be planting trees, so it is an investment for the county in the future,” Williams added.

“Generations to come will benefit from this long-range plan,” Coolidge added.

In other business, commissioners adopted a resolution regarding parking at the courthouse for employees.

Employees will be issued a parking permit to part in the lot behind the courthouse, and anyone not displaying the permit will be ticketed by the sheriff’s department, effective Tuesday.

“The lot behind the courthouse has been signed as parking for employee use only, but that hasn’t seemed to stop visitors from parking there. Starting today, violators will be ticketed $5 for parking without a permit. Employees not displaying a permit in their cars will be given three warning tickets before being fined,” Coolidge said.

Part of the ongoing parking problem at the courthouse has resulted in the addition of two handicap accessible parking spots required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Coolidge added.

“We used to have four and now we have six handicap parking spots,” he said.

Coolidge was quick to add that he didn’t begrudge having the spots available for those who need them.

Commissioners also:

Approved a reimbursement allotment regarding the work done on the Tioga County Bridge 4, amending costs to increase by about $600,000 from $2.04 million to $2.68 million to be reimbursed due additional costs.

Adopted a resolution honoring Allison Rudy, of Girl Scout Troop 43333, for her selection as a recipient of the Gold Award, Girl Scouting’s highest honor, for her project developing a Web page on the Tioga County Partnership for Community Health’s website on volunteering opportunities.

Approved a change order request from contractor G.R. Noto for $1,142 for heat and smoke detectors in the new 911 center to be paid from Act 13 funds.

Approved a one-year renewal agreement with Long Nyquist and Associates for government relations services for $5,000 per month.

Approved the use of the Green and surrounding parking for use by the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally May 30 and 31.

As the retirement board, approved a payment of $1,195 to the Hay Group for actuarial services.

As the retirement board, approved the payment of $21,345 to Citizen and Northern National Bank for a quarterly investment fee.

Adopted the county’s Fair Housing Act.