Commission plans to form logging committee

Published 4:44 pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Members from the Chilton County Commission along with three loggers in the county are hoping to form a logging committee in the next couple of weeks to discuss a workable logging ordinance to be passed in March.

Commission Chairman Allen Caton said the purpose of the committee would mainly focus on Commissioners Joe Headley, Greg Moore, Caton and county engineer Tony Wearren hearing the input from loggers on ways to adapt the ordinance to benefit Chilton County.

“There are a lot of counties in Alabama who adopted the bill and they could care less what the loggers want,” Caton said. “The commissioners recognize that these loggers are citizens of this county and we want to hear from them and come up with ways we can develop an ordinance that our loggers will be happy with.”

The state passed Act 2012-257 in July 2012 establishing a statewide standard for counties to utilize (as needed) a requirement for loggers using county roads while conducting their operations to provide notice prior to using county roads.

Caton said the state passed the law but left it up to each county on whether they should adopt it, allowing specific guidelines to be adapted as needed.

The Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) developed a model logging ordinance for counties to have a guideline to follow but Caton said the guidelines were flexible and the committee will work to develop specific guidelines relative to Chilton County.

According to a copy of the model logging ordinance, if the ordinance is adopted in Chilton County all timber owners would be required to submit proper notice to the county commission prior to initiating any timber harvesting activities or utilizing county roads or bridges for delivery of pulpwood, logs, poles, posts, or wood chips to any wood yard or processing plant.

“There are little things that we want to be able to discuss with the loggers where everyone can be happy,” Caton said. “We will just be fine tuning something that has already been put in place but we want everyone to be happy which is why we decided to form a committee and discuss things together.”

Wearren said to his knowledge 17 counties within the state have already adopted the ordinance.