Town hires forester to direct timber sale

Published 6:00 am Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Monticello has hired a local forester to manage the sale oftimber at three town sites.

The town board awarded Mark Dale the contract during its meetingTuesday night.

Timber-cutting at Atwood Water Park is not expected to beginuntil the end of the year.

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“With only about 90 days until our first event, I think we’retoo close to our annual events to try to cut now,” Mayor DavidNichols said.

Proceeds from the timber sale will provide matching funds forstate and federal grants to improve the park, including a pavedparking lot.

Although Dale said the best time to sell timber is typicallyfrom December to February, when there is a lot of demand, Nicholssaid he does not believe the town has the time to make the cut andclean up the mess before the year’s first event.

Aldermen originally had hoped to have the cuts completed and theparking lot built before the first event.

Some improvements, however, will be in place prior to the AtwoodMusic Festival. Work has already begun on a new restroom facilityand to add more lighting at the front of the park, near the stagearea where vendors usually set up during events.

Aldermen agreed earlier this month to rush those projectswithout waiting on the grant money to arrive.

Under the grant, the town would have to pay for the work and bereimbursed from the grant fund anyway, Nichols said.

Dale can, however, begin cruising the timber at two town siteson Graham Avenue and behind the old Kellwood Building to prepare itfor cutting.

Those areas will be cut as soon as possible and the proceedsbanked until work can proceed at the water park, Nichols said.

The timber-thinning at Atwood Water Park is scheduled to beginin October or November after the event season. Activities at thepark typically slow down in September after the A.B.A.T.E. statefield meet.