Steve Gettle, owner of Woodland Investment Services in Jay, speaks to Jay selectpersons Monday night at the Town Office about timber harvesting on two town lots. Donna M. Perry/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

JAY — Selectpersons agreed Monday to have a local, licensed forester mark and tag timber for harvest on the town gravel pit property off East Jay Road.

The board voted to authorize Town Manager Shiloh LaFreniere to sign a contract with Steve Gettle, owner of Woodland Investments Services in Jay, to oversee the harvesting on the gravel pit and the tower lot behind the fields at Spruce Mountain High School owned by Regional School Unit 73.

Gettle spoke to the Select Board in September about planning the wood harvest. He oversaw the selective timber cutting on both lots several years ago.

There are 155 acres of the 184 acres that could be selectively  harvested on the gravel pit lot off the East Jay Road.

Gettle told selectpersons in September that all the ash trees should be harvested because they are going to be destroyed by the emerald ash borer, which is “one of the most serious invasive species threatening ash resources and forests,” according to a state of Maine website.

He also told the board then that hemlock trees also are in danger of insects killing them, so they should be cut to promote another species, according to the minutes of the Sept. 23 Select Board meeting.

Gettle would supervise and monitor the timber cutting of the wood lot. He suggested the harvesting be done from the summer of 2020 and be completed by July 31, 2021.  The tower lot would be done after that work was completed.

Under the terms of the contract, Gettle would lay out and conduct the bidding for the harvest for which he would be paid $65 an hour, plus $35 an hour for work completed by his employee. He would be reimbursed for $30 a gallon of paint and $4 a roll for flagging the timber.

Once the harvest begins, Gettle will be paid a flat rate of 10 percent of the stumpage money received to supervise the harvesting operation to completion and review stumpage payments.

Bid specifications to harvest the wood will be drawn up and sent.

Proceeds from the gravel pit lot would go into the town’s general fund while proceeds from the tower lot would go into the recreation fund, LaFreniere said.

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