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Timber sales bring bids above base prices again

Hubbard County recognized a small windfall last week as nearly $317,000 in unspent departmental funds was transferred into the county's general revenue fund.

Auditor Pam Heeren requested the transfers. Department heads request payments for incidental expenditures from the general fund while accumulating small kitties of unspent funds in each office.

Case in point: Hubbard County Sheriff Frank Homer requested $700+ dollars for radio equipment. Meanwhile, his department holds three miscellaneous accounts, one with $22,000 in it. He seemed unaware of the accounts when he appeared before the board.

"We're bookkeeping this thing to death," said board chair Lyle Robinson in voting to move all the unspent funds to the general fund.

In other commission action, the board:

- Reviewed the latest timber sale, held Jan. 5. All but one timber contract was sold, adding $355,839.22 to county coffers.

The average price received for mixed aspen was $24.90, lower than last year's $26 per cord, but "higher than we anticipated," said Land Commissioner Bob Hoffman. Mixed jack pine also was bid lower, from $35.48 last year to $34.80.

The office has 85 contracts currently, including many from previous auctions.

"We've lowered the base price," Hiffman told the county board. "They're buying at twice that."

"They like our wood apparently," said commissioner Cal Johannsen.

- Heard an update on the Explorer program, which is run by Dep. Jeff Stacey. It's a program sponsored by the county and Boy Scouts of America for teens and young adults interested in law enforcement.

Members do not have to be Boy Scouts to join, Stacey told the board. The group trains every Sunday and will be going to a state competition, where actual law enforcement scenarios will be presented to the groups.

Occasionally the Explorers ride along with law officers.

The Explorers will be helping with the upcoming Community Fishing Derby.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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