Maple syrup deal sweetened between SD&G, company

In this diagram from an SD&G agenda package, the purple area highlights the maple syrup tapping area in the Howard S. Mitchell forest near Dalkeith, Ont. The yellow line are the tapping lines. A&B Maple Syrup and the United Counties of SD&G have modified the 10-year agreement to cover a larger area and also save the county from having to thin the forest. (SD&G via Newswatch Group)

SD&G – A deal to lease a forest north of Dalkeith for maple syrup tapping has been sweetened after the producer asked to modify the deal with the United Counties of SD&G.

Under the original 10-year deal, the county was going to proactively thin out the Howard S. Mitchell forest and then sell the firewood, using that money to install electrical service for A&B Maple Syrup.

But SD&G Engineer Ben de Haan told county council Monday, A&B wants to do the thinning themselves over time because some of the trees eyed to be cut down were “reasonably sized maple trees” the company would prefer to tap.

In lieu of compensation for doing the thinning during the next decade, A&B has agreed to install the hydro service at their own expense.

De Haan called it a win-win deal for the county.

After investigating the site further, the Fournier, Ont.-based company will also be able to double potential taps from 3,000 to 6,000, meaning more revenue for the county in either cash or liquid gold.

The county will be paid by A&B Maple Syrup at a rate of 80 cents per tap. The county has the option to be paid in either cash or maple syrup at market value.

The lease is renegotiable after five years based on the price market for maple syrup.