Jay awards contract for selectively harvesting town property to low bidder

JAY — Selectmen voted 3-2 on Monday to go with the low bidder for harvesting an estimated 4,400 cords of wood on 155 acres of the town’s gravel pit lot off East Jay and Belanger roads.

George Merrill & Son Logging LLC of Jay bid $107,850 to selectively harvest timber marked by forester Steve Gettle of Jay.  Johnny Castonguay Logging & Trucking of Livermore bid $124,140. The difference between the bids is $16,290.

Vice Chairman Tim DeMillo and Selectpersons Tom Goding and Lee Ann Dalessandro voting in favor of awarding the contract to Merrill. Chairman Terry Bergeron and Selectperson Gary McGrane opposed.

A previous motion to go with Castonguay, who owns property in Jay and is a taxpayer, failed by a 3-2 vote.

The big difference in the bids on pulp is biomass chipping versus not chipping, Gettle said. Castonguay plans to chip some of the pulp wood, while Merrill does not.

Chips are not a money product, Gettle said.

“They both are good contractors,” he said.

The figures are estimates and the real amount won’t be known until the lot is harvested.

According to the bid sheets, both offered the same amount for firewood. Castonguay estimated $48,240 for total pulpwood while Merrill estimated $39,240. Merrill estimated $12,100 for hardwood veneer and Castonguay estimated $8,669. For softwood saw logs, Castonguay estimated $42,475 and Merrill estimated $35,965.  Merrill bid $300 per 1,000 board feet of select pine, while Castonguay bid $240 per 1,000 feet.

Merrill said he has harvested the gravel lot and the lot behind Jay Plaza.

They cut the gravel pit and the lot behind the plaza previously and exceeded Gettle’s estimates and brought in more money for the town, he said. He believes his business could make up the difference by merchandizing the wood better.

“Both sure are excellent people,” Bergeron said. “For the town it is a lot of money difference, $16,000.

Goding’s motion to go with Merrill was because of the quality job twice before.

The board also gave Gettle permission to assess and mark trees on the recreation lot behind the high school and to check with Regional School Unit 73 to see it wants to have its lot selectively harvested at the same time. The last time it was harvested the whole piece was owned by the town but changed hands after RSU 36 and Jay School Department consolidated several years ago.

In other business, the board agreed to offer plastic covers on the lights at the Town Office. There will be about 100 of them. The town is having more efficient lighting installed at the municipal building under the Efficiency Maine program beginning May 24. Though the lighting can’t be used, the plastic could be used for windows including in sheds/barns.

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