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Timbering of county forest approved

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Timbering work for 41.6 acres of the Crawford County Forest was approved by the commissioners at their meeting Wednesday.

The timber sale contract was awarded to Scott L. Pettit, a private contractor from Venango County, to the tune of $83,830. Pettit was the higher of the two bidders for the right to cut down trees at the forest, beating out First Maple Products. According to Planning Director Zachary Norwood, First Maple’s bid came to $31,400, less than half of Pettit’s offer.

The work will take place in a section of forest located between Kinsack Road and state Route 8, in Oil Creek Township. The area is close to the borders of Steuben and Troy townships. A total of 3,275 trees are marked for cutting. Norwood said the marked trees are across a variety of species, including black cherry and white oak.

An exact date for when timbering work will begin has not yet been determined. According to Norwood, the tree harvest is part of a long-term plan the county has developed for the forest. By clearing away older trees, newer ones can grow in their place, promoting the health and growth of the natural landmark for future generations.

While the area and number of trees chosen for the timbering may seem large, Commissioner Christopher Soff said that the 41.6 acres is actually a relatively small corner of the total forest.

“We’ve got 400 some acres of forest land out there, so it’s only 10% of the area,” Soff said.

The timbering is anticipated to begin within the year.

Postal machine

A five year contract leasing a SendPro series C postal machine for the Titusville Magisterial District Judge office was approved at a rate of $50.74 per month. Soff said all magisterial district judge offices in the county receive a postal machine, which helps with weighing and stamping postage.

Computer equipment auction

Commissioners approved the auction of obsolete computers and associated equipment to begin on Monday.

The sold items consist of 101 personal computers, 475 phones, two large format printers and a cabinet.

According to Soff, the county is in the process of upgrading all of its computerized equipment to Windows 10, up from Windows 7. The latter operating system will no longer see support from Microsoft by the end of the year, necessitating the upgrade.

While many pieces of hardware can simply have the new version of Windows downloaded, Soff said other machines cannot be upgraded, and must be replaced instead.

“We’ve got our old phones, we’ve got our two big printers that aren’t being used anymore,” he said. “This is how we offer them for sale so that anybody can bid on them.”

The county anticipates revenue of $965.35 from the sale, which will be conducted online. Those interested in purchasing one of the machines can visit publicsurplus.com to make a bid.

The 2019 county budget saw more than $270,000 dedicated toward upgrading computer systems to Windows 10, and it is an ongoing process. Soff said the county is not even closed to being finished, but he anticipates that there likely won’t be many new hardware purchases made, if at all. Rather, he believes it is mostly a matter of downloading the newest version of Windows on the remaining machines.

Other

meeting news

Two replacement repeaters for Public Safety’s government central and governmental central 2 dispatch centers were purchased from MOBILCOM using state funds. The UHF 100-watt repeaters came at a price tag of $18,464. Repeaters are specialized equipment able to receive radio signals and rebroadcast them, allowing different emergency response departments to communicate with each other.

The next meeting of the Crawford County Commissioners will be held July 17, at 9:30 a.m., at the Crawford County Courthouse.

Ray can be reached, by email, at sray@titusvilleherald.com.