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LCDA OKs timber assessment
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With an eye toward future revenue and development, the Liberty County Development Authority board on Monday approved an evaluation of timber on its Tradeport East and West properties.

Board Chairman Allen Brown and members Robert Stokes, Brian Smith and John McIver voted unanimously to approve the evaluation, which will allow an outside contractor to assess the types and values of the trees on its property.

The board accepted a $6,328 bid from Professional Land & Timber Services to inspect existing trees on its property to determine whether they are valuable enough to be sold for lumber as a means of generating revenue.

The LCDA purchased the mixed-use business parks near Interstate 95 from International Paper and Laurel View Development Corporation, according to Courier reports.

International Paper used much of the acreage as a pine forest plantation, CEO Ron Tolley said. The assessment will help to determine exactly what types of wood are in the area and how soon it will be sellable.

The authority will use information gleaned from the inspection to create a timber management plan and a timetable of tree sales for generating revenue to accommodate the 30- to 40-year period of anticipated development on the sites, he said.

Pending the outcome of the evaluation, the authority may opt to clear at least 10 acres in Tradeport East in the short term for the sake of sales and marketing, Tolley said. Clearing land would make at least one plot more readily available for smaller development, which is important because Midway Industrial Park — home to Hugo Boss, International Greetings and four other companies — is almost sold out.

Tradeport West currently has a clear, undeveloped lot to show prospective businesses, Tolley said.

The board’s other members, Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas, Paul Krebs and Rep. Al Williams, were not at the meeting.

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