Contractor sought to harvest 240 tons of trees

July 14, 2009|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN -- The City of Hagerstown will seek a contractor to harvest about 240 tons of white pine trees from city-owned property near the Edgemont Reservoir.

City Utilities Director Michael Spiker received permission to advertise for bids after he told the City Council during a work session Tuesday that the trees should be cut down because they are growing out of control.

The trees are just south of Warner Hollow Road on about 4.5 acres of land near the southwest corner of the reservoir.

Spiker said other trees, such as black cherry, white ash, hickory, red oak and red maple, will be left to grow at the site after the white pines are harvested.


The overmature trees, which were planted 60 to 70 years ago in close proximity to one another, have fallen on access roads and are susceptible to insect, snow, ice and wind damage, according to a Maryland Forest Service study. Recent storms also have caused portions of the trees to fall and damage private property.

City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman said after the work session that city officials intend to solicit bids from contractors who will pay the city for the right to harvest the trees.

The city doesn't know how much it will earn from the harvest, but "it won't be a moneymaker," Zimmerman said.

Proceeds from the timber sale will become part of the City Water Department's operating revenue, City Water Operations Manager Nancy Hausrath said Monday.

The contractor will be responsible for, among other things, obtaining the necessary permits and rehabilitating the site after the harvest, according to city documents.

The date of the sale will be determined later.

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