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County rejects top bids for timber sales

MONTESANO — The Grays Harbor County commissioners took the unusual step of rejecting the three top timber bids for recent timber harvests and awarding the contracts to the second-highest bidder.

And the move came at the request of top bidder, A-1 Timber, which has operations in Chehalis and Alaska. County Forestry Director Larry Smith said the timber company miscalculated its bid — and it’s unlikely the company would have been able to pay the top bid anyway.

A-1 Timber had bid $520 per thousand on a 2.8 million board feet sale on Powell Road. Next highest was Sierra Pacific at $392.

A-1 bid $504 per thousand on 613,000 board feet at Grass Creek. Next highest bid was $440 from Chehalis Valley Timber.

A-1 bid $530 per thousand on 4 million board feet at Section 4 R.O.W. Next highest bid was $350 from WT Timber.

Smith explained to the commissioners that if they didn’t reject the top bids because of the timber company’s miscalculations, then the county may have had to eat the sales in the end — or go after the company for not meeting its obligations.