Council fills vacancy, acts on timber, gas bids
The Cathlamet Town Council filled a vacancy, approved timber harvest plans and rejected a bid for a Propane supply during a special meeting Tuesday.
The council appointed former Council Member Bill Talbott to fill the vacant position held by Dick Swart, who resigned at the beginning of the month.
The town advertised for persons interested in filling the vacancy, and Talbott was the only person to apply.
Swart's position will expire next year and be on the 2015 election ballot.
In other business, the town authorized the mayor and forestry consultant Bill Olsen to proceed with a plan to harvest timber from the town's holdings on Bradley Mountain.
Olsen has estimated that the town could gain close to $740,000 from the sale of timber from three parcels, which total about 93 acres. Council members have said they want to use the funds to build reserves and special needs.
The town received two responses from its call for bids; one bidder, Jerry DeBriae Logging, bid higher on the saw log portion of the timber, and the other, Ramco Mechanical Cutting, Inc ., bid higher on the pulp log portion of the timber.
About 80 percent of the timber on the parcels would be sawlongs; the rest would go for pulp.
Olsen said the proposed contract would allow the town to delay harvest if the market changed, so the council could award the bid but delay harvest of the second and third parcels. And if the initial contactor was unable to resume operation after the delay, the town could hire the second contractor.
The council voted in favor of Hannah Booth-Watts's motion to contract with DeBriae Logging, with Olsen having authority to halt or continue logging, depending on market trends.
Finally, the council rejected a bid for a Propane supply and authorized staff to contact three suppliers for new bids.
The town had published a call for bids, but only one firm, Active Enterprises responded. Mayor Dale Jacobson works for that firm.
Council members said they want to avoid any appearance of impropriety or favoritism. Once the initial bid is rejected, said Council Member David Goodroe, the council may undertake the selective bidding process and contact the suppliers to invite them to bid. Goodroe said they would contact Active Enterprises, the town's current supplier, and a third firm.
Jacobson recused himself and left the meeting when the council discussed the issue.