Mayor Ron Littlefield said the police shooting range on Moccasin Bend will close Dec. 31, and he is recommending that it be replaced by a $3 million indoor range.
Possible sites for the new range are the Armory on 23rd Street and a location at the Farmers Market property on 11th Street. The city and county own the Armory, which is no longer in military use after a move to Bonny Oaks Drive. The city owns the former Farmers Market.
Funds for the new shooting range have now been included in the capital budget, which was approved on first reading by the City Council on Tuesday night. The capital spending was increased from $50.59 million to $52.4 million.
Voting in favor were Pam Ladd, Carol Berz, Manny Rico, Jack Benson and Andrae McGary. Russell Gilbert and Deborah Scott were opposed. Peter Murphy abstained and Sally Robinson was absent. Ms. Scott said the city should have included at least $5 million for paving.
Mayor Littlefield said there are a number of advantages of having an indoor facility, noting it can be used 24/7 and in all sorts of weather. He said it can also have varied lighting for training purposes, including strobe.
He said there is $1,050,000 in federal grant money available for the firing range. He said he expects that other governments may contribute $1 million toward the project.
The mayor said the sheriff's office has been involved in the planning.
He said he and aide Matt Lea along with police officials Bobby Dodd and Tommy Kennedy recently visited an indoor firing range at Roswell, Ga. He said it is in a commercial area and looks like a Walgreen's.
He said there is no noise or fumes from such a facility. He said a bullet trap can be installed so that the lead can be recouped and sold.