EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

September 12, 2013

Residents can bid on firewood under new 'Home Fuelwood Program'

By Mike LaBella
mlabella@eagletribune.com

---- — HAVERHILL — The city has held auctions in the past for all kinds of surplus items, including old fire trucks, police cruisers and recycling Dumpsters that have brought in thousands of dollars in revenue. Now , Haverhill residents will have an opportunity to bid on firewood.

Timber removed from the Clement Farm Conservation Area property in August will be up for bid and viewing on Saturday and next Wednesday at the Department of Public Works, 500 Primrose St.

It’s not the kind of firewood that’s ready to load into the back of the average pickup truck then tossed into your fireplace or wood burning stove. This firewood, all hardwood, will be stacked in 16-foot lengths and each stack is estimated to contain a total volume of one cord.

The minimum bid for each pile is $100 and viewing will take place from 9 a.m. to noon on both days. Winning bids will be awarded on Monday, Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. Payment is due by Sept. 25 at 4 p.m.

As part of Haverhill’s Forest Management program, the city has established a number of goals, including the enhancement of the quality of the city’s forests, protection of water quality, preservation of scenic beauty, improvement of passive recreational opportunities and enhancement of wildlife habitat. Another goal is to create a resident firewood program for residents only.

Mayor James Fiorentini said this pilot program gives residents an opportunity to purchase locally produced fuelwood.

“Next year, we hope to expand the program to other forest areas,” he said.

Under the terms of the program, cutting up wood is at your own risk and winning bidders assume responsibility for any losses or damages. And if you have one of the winning bids, prepare to show up at the Highway Yard with safety equipment to cut up and collect your wood.

According to the rule of the program, personal safety equipment, including appropriate clothing, ear protection, eye protection, safety gloves, safety chaps, safety helmet, and steel-toed boots must be used/worn at all times by all parties participating in pile removal.

There are other rules too, such as not selling the wood you are awarded as it is intended for personal use only.

Timber removed from the Clement Farm Conservation Area was sold through a competitive bid process to Hopkinton Forestry & Land Clearing, Inc., of Henniker, N.H. A condition of the sale was that Hopkinton provide fuel-wood for use by the city in its pilot “Home Fuelwood Program.” This program will allow Haverhill residents the opportunity to purchase locally produced fuel-wood for their own private use.

Under this pilot program, only one bidder per household is allowed and each household will be limited to the purchase of only one Home Fuelwood pile per calendar year.

All signed bid proposal and sales contract forms must be submitted to the city’s purchasing agent by Friday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m., along with a non-refundable filing fee of $1 per pile that is bid on.

If you’re the highest bidder on more than one pile, you must select which single pile you want. Any remaining highest bid piles will be awarded to the next highest bidder.

In the event of a tie, the award shall be determined at the awarding of the bids by a random selection method. In any event, the city reserves the right to reject any or all bids.

Winning bidders will be allowed to cut and remove their piles between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Oct. 5. All wood must be removed by 3 p.m. on Oct. 5.

All proceeds from this fuelwood sale will be deposited into the city’s Municipal Open Space Management Fund to cover the forestry costs already incurred by the city and to fund a sustainable forest management program for the rest of the city’s forested areas.

For a copy of the Bid Proposal and Sales Contract form, including all rules and regulations, visit online at http://ci.haverhill.ma.us and click on the link to Haverhill Home Fuelwood Program.