Supervisors sign Motorola contract

Page County Supervisors Chair Jon Herzberg signs the contractor with Motorola Solutions for implementation of the county's new digital communications system.

(Clarinda) -- Page County's Board of Supervisors is hoping to sell some county-owned timber in the near future.

Meeting in regular session Tuesday morning, the supervisors held a discussion regarding several trees on the county-owned farm on Highway 71 south of Clarinda. Supervisor Jon Herzberg says he believes several of the trees could be used for lumber.

"I believe there are three trees to the north of the house -- walnut trees," said Herzberg. "There's one to the west. Then there are three -- plus or minus -- on the north end of the hedge row right west of the house."

Herzberg suggested putting a notice for bidders in the local newspapers to solicit bids from parties interested in purchasing the trees. Sheriff Lyle Palmer -- who is a bonded timber buyer in the state -- says he won't be submitting a bid for the project because it would be a conflict of interest, but he urged the supervisors to use caution with how the bid was worded.

"Usually, when I get notice of sale of timber they don't specify plus or minus, they specify exactly how many walnut trees, silver maple, ash, oak, red oak and white oak, as well as any hackberry or any other trees being sold; locust also."

Palmer also says most timber buyers require specifics before bidding on a job.

"They take bids on those marked trees, if they are numbered or marked with a slash or a line," said Palmer. "In your bid process, specify what you want done with the tops. How small of a top can be taken? A lot of places don't want any tops under eight inches taken. Specify what you want done with the brush and then specify the dates you want them on there and how long they have to complete the job."

Palmer suggested using the Department of Natural Resources to assist with the process, which may also increase the amount of bids received by the county.

"They have forestry agents in the area that can help," said Palmer. "They will put that out not only in the paper, but that can go out all over the state to anybody that's legal on the timber buying list, which you have to be on to be able to buy trees in the state of Iowa legally. Otherwise, it's a serious misdemeanor."

Following discussion, the supervisors agreed to contact a forestry agent with the DNR to identify and mark the trees and assist with soliciting bids.