City of Oak Harbor deciding what to do with logged acreage on Sleeper Road

The city of Oak Harbor is investigating what it should do with 40 acres of property it owns off Sleeper Road.

The city of Oak Harbor logged 40 acres it owns off Sleeper Road and is considering selling the land or leasing its mineral rights.

The city of Oak Harbor is investigating what it should do with 40 acres of property it owns off Sleeper Road.

In the last several weeks, the city has logged the land and plans to have the property and its mineral rights appraised. The property could be sold or city leaders may decide to lease the mineral rights.

The land — which consists of two 20-acre parcels — is located off State Highway 20 near two gravel pits. In past years, the city used the land as a borrow pit, extracting gravel and soil for city use elsewhere.

Former Mayor Scott Dudley initially suggested the city consider selling the land and reinvesting the profits into a park inside the city limits, said City Administrator Doug Merriman.

Merriman said he plans to advise the city council to reinvest the profits from the clearcutting and sale into property or a building rather than spending the proceeds on city operations.

“At this point, we are in fact-finding mode,” he said. “From a financial standpoint, I’m interested in not just the market value, but what is the value of the gravel and other commodities, and what options do we have.”

The City Council approved logging the land and hiring a forester nearly two years ago. Councilman Rick Almberg said it’s an asset the city didn’t seem to need.

“The trees were mature trees,” he said. “They were in their prime growth … It wasn’t because the city was in some kind of financial emergency. You have a stand of timber right there that can be used for many other benefits to the community.”

The city earned $244,000 from timber sales. An estimated 722,000 board feet were harvested.

Officials are taking steps to reforest the area, Merriman said. They want to grind the piles of leftover branches to clean up the land. They also are purchasing seedlings to replant across the property.

The reforestation, limb grinding, and appraisal of the property and mineral value will be paid for using proceeds from the logging operations.

 

More in News

Jeep rolls in front of hospital

A Jeep SUV hit a tree in front of WhidbeyHealth Medical Center… Continue reading

Islanders help victims of Kilauea

Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, landslides. And now, two Whidbey Islanders add volcano recovery… Continue reading

Field carrier landing practice schedule — Aug. 13-19

Aircraft carrier-based flight training operations are scheduled at Ault Field through Aug.… Continue reading

Photo by Jim Christensen.
                                The rented canoe is hauled ashore at a stopping point.
Man takes canoe trip of a lifetime

Jim Christensen’s summer vacation means getting away to the remote woodlands of… Continue reading

Photo by Maria Matson / Whidbey News Group
                                Peggie Suess will be celebrating her 100th birthday on Aug. 22. She sits here at Summer Hill Senior Living, ready for the day’s Bingo game.
Oak Harbor woman celebrates her 100th birthday on Aug. 22

On Aug. 22, Peggie Suess will celebrate her 100th birthday. The celebration… Continue reading

Whidbey residents on OSU scholastic honor roll

Students who made the scholastic honor roll spring term 2018 have been… Continue reading

Pigfest awaiting word from Guinness on largest BBQ pit

Scott Fraser’s goal for this year’s Pigfest was to have the world’s… Continue reading

SAR rescues climber

A Search and Rescue team from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island rescued… Continue reading

Most Read