City, County Pull The Plug On Downtown Shooting Range

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

City and county officials have decided to keep the police firing range at Moccasin Bend rather than building an expensive new indoor facility at the former Farmers Market property.

County Mayor Jim Coppinger said Sheriff Jim Hammond and new Police Chief Fred Fletcher met recently and decided to "pull the plug" on the project.

He said officers felt that the Moccasin Bend range would be more suitable to their needs and the new facility, which was launched during the administration of Mayor Ron Littlefield, would be inadequate.

The County Commission earlier approved spending $1.5 million on the indoor range, but none of that money was spent.

However, the city cleared some buildings at the site and paid an architect $250,000 to draw up plans.

One impetus for the project was so additional land could be added to the national archaeological site at historic Moccasin Bend.

County Mayor Coppinger said that may still happen, "but it will be a long, long way down the road."

He noted that the National Park Service had been unwilling to clean up the site, which would have been an expensive cost for the city and county.

City officials said, "$1.5 million was allocated in the city’s capital FY13/14 budget for construction of a new firing range and training facility to be located in downtown Chattanooga. The previous administration started the work and the city has spent approximately $250,000 on remediation, design, site prep and demolition of the 12th street site since that time.

"After months of review, the city and county found the cost of building a new training facility and range is estimated to be at least $1 million more than the previously anticipated $4 million cost (which would have been $3 million split between the city and county plus $1 million grant). On top of that, we heard time and again from our officers they preferred the existing training facility located at Moccasin Bend and Chattanooga Police Department leadership agreed officers could receive more comprehensive training at the current site."

 


A Memorial Day Reflection

I wish I could find that combination of words that would capture an inclusive meaning of Memorial Day.  I have attended many Memorial Day programs at the Chattanooga National Cemetery, so many that now they have merged into one memory.  But what stands out is that each year there are more friends and veterans to visit.  Some gave their all many years ago.  And ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Keep Your ‘Dirty’ Feed

Mark Twain once observed the difference in a cat and a lie is that a cat only has nine lives. You might remember that when you hear that a group of Tennessee Walking Horse trainers just donated two tons of horse feed “to aid and assist in the rehabilitation” of 55 horses that were rescued from deplorable conditions at a West Tennessee farm. The truth is that the horses were taken ... (click for more)

Gilpin, Stocks Victorious In Chattanooga Chase 8K

John Gilpin has done plenty of training in North Chattanooga and is very familiar with the Chattanooga Chase and the series of hills the oldest race in Chattanooga is known for. Jennifer Stocks has done more than her share of workouts on those roads, so she was fully aware of the challenge she faced when the starting horn sounded. Both were overall winners in this unique 8K ... (click for more)

Golf and Chattanooga Have Lost Another Oehmig

  It was a classic Father’ Day golf picture. No, not Jack and Arnie and their kids relaxing at Augusta National with the Dogwoods blooming. But the Oehmig men – Lew, the family patriarch, with his youngest son, King, and his then two grade school age sons Henry and John, all crowded into, what else, a golf cart and donning that Oehmig glasses look – round, turtle shell-colored ... (click for more)