Public hearing set for proposed firing range in Jonesboro

by George Jared ([email protected]) 167 views 

Jonesboro residents who have opinions about a proposed $12 million shooting complex in the city will have a chance to voice them to the public. The city will hold a public hearing to discuss the firing range from 5 to 7 p.m., Oct. 24th at City Hall in downtown Jonesboro, city spokesman William Campbell said.

The project is moving forward, but flying mammals could possibly delay plans, Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott said. U.S. Fish and Wildlife haven’t determined if a bat study needs to be conducted at the range site, located on a 300-acres at confluence of Moore Road and Interstate 555, he said. Details about the potential bat study were not available.

No formal presentations will be made, but city leaders including Mayor Harold Perrin will be on hand to answer any questions. Exhibits will be displayed detailing the project. A timetable for completing the project has not been set, but the public hearing is part of the environmental studies portion of the project. Arkansas Game and Fish Commission officials will also be at the meeting.

“We will go over what needs to be done next,” Elliott said.

Jonesboro has already dedicated $1 million to the project that could be completed by the end of 2017. AGFC will foot 75% of the costs, meaning the city will have to pay an additional $2 million to complete the shooting range.

The complex, when complete, will have nine trap fields, and three skeet shooting overlays. An archery pond and a fishing lake will also be constructed.

Local law enforcement officers will use the range for training the first two days of the week, and those days will also be dedicated to cleanup and maintenance. The complex will be open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, and will be operated by the city.

It has not been determined how much the public will be charged to use the shooting range, or if memberships will be offered, Campbell said. Most of the money generated would be dedicated toward the operating expenses, officials said. How many full and part-time workers the range will employ has not been determined.

At least one resident, who lives near the range, has expressed concerns about the project, according to the city. Anyone else with questions about it should attend the meeting, Perrin said.