Altamont Council Tables Timber Harvesting Contract with Voelker

BY CARISSA SITKI

The Altamont City Council met at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 8, where they discussed the harvesting of timber at the water reservoir and heard a pitch from Travis Voelker who will potentially be contracted by the City to carry out the job.

The Council discussed the size of the area that will need to be harvested, and according to Voelker, it’s around 100 acres. “There’s a lot of deadfall out there and trees that are getting old,” said Voelker of the necessity of the project.

“Personally, what I would like to do is to set the area up for a really light harvest,” stated Voelker, “Only take out the stuff that’s really old and dead.” Voelker, who plans to carry out the project with teams of horses, added that he would like to set up the land on a removal schedule for the timber. If contracted, he would like to start next fall.

The Council tabled the discussion at the Feb. 22 meeting, as well, since Voelker was not in attendance and, additionally, the City wanted to contact an arborist. Commissioner Todd Slingerland tried contacting an arborist, but was told that he needed to get ahold of a forester. “I’ve got no problem with this project, but I would like to talk to a forester first,” said Slingerland.

After some discussion, the Council decided to, once again, table the discussion and delay the approval of a contract with Voelker until there is a harvest plan in place and the City is able to get in touch with a forester. “I think we can work something out and get you out there cutting some timber,” said Mayor Jason Rippetoe, “We just need to get a plan in place beforehand.”

In other business, the Council approved Ordinance SP-1622, giving permission to Pam Dammerman to operate her real-estate business from her residence at 609 North Main Street, across from the Wright Mansion. This ordinance will only apply to Dammerman, according to City Clerk Sarah Stephen, and only apply to the one business.

Also approved, was a roadside fundraiser request from the Effingham Knights of Columbus for April 16, 2021.

The Altamont City Council is scheduled to meet again on Monday, March 22, at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Building.

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