Council in favor of Shooting Sports Park partnership with County
(Originally from June 2015)
The Crossville city council appears to like the idea of a shooting sports park as proposed by Cumberland County Mayor Kenneth Carey that would be built on part of the city's old Dorton Landfill property with funding from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
The proposal was first presented by Mayor Carey to the council at a work session held on June 4 with discussion and possible action set for the the regular June council meeting agenda.
City manager David Rutherford reminded the council about the previous discussion and the partnership with the TWRA and that the park would be utilized by folks in middle Tennessee, possibly from across the state and maybe other states. Rutherford explained, “The county mayor has been working with TWRA and hopefully we'll be able to know something for funding, but one of the requests is they have to have a piece of property.”
Rutherford pointed out the map of the property that identified about 116 acres of property referred to as the landfill site off of Chestnut Hill Rd. The 116 acres does not include the part of the property previously used as a landfill, another 34 acres that could possible be used as a competition range depending on how everything is permitted by the state concerning the use of the actual landfill property.
“The request from mayor Carey is that we consider making that property available,” said Rutherford and added, “This is by no means turning everything over. There's still lots of agreements and contract work we'd have to do with the county and TWRA as we move forward, but right now knowing the property is available will allow mayor Carey to move forward with TWRA if we can get more traction on this project.”
Mayor pro-tem Pam Harris commented saying, “I have no issues with letting the TWRA work on the project, but I would like to say that I want the language of any agreements to ensure that the city does not end up having to maintain the facility going down the road.”
Councilman Pete Souza commented saying that he had talked to the operators of Dave's Pawn Shop, that operates an indoor shooting range, and said the owners did not have any problems with the project and thought it would even help their business. Souza continued saying he saw in the project the potential to attract more people from outside the area to come a visit.
“I see a lot of potential,” said Souza, “and I'm going to support this but I also believe that a committee needs to be organized between the county and the city to develop this thing and a business plan be made up.”
Souza then made a motion that the land specified be designated for the use as a shooting range subject to an acceptable contract. His motion was supported by councilman Jesse Kerley and the motion was approved unanimously.
A training center building would be part of the project and law enforcement could use the facilities for training. It could also host hunter education and safety classes, handgun carry permit classes and more for the general public. In addition, the facility could also host local, regional and state events and competitions that would boost the local economy.
Mayor Carey was also at the meeting for the councils decision on the transition plan for building permits and inspections to be transferred from the city to the county. The city has provided the building inspections for the county for several years and had come to the point they would have to either add additional personnel or turn the work over to the county.
The county has opted to take over the inspections but does not plan to do this until October this year. Councilman Souza has pushed for the county to act faster to free up the city codes enforcement personnel to be able to work on problems inside the city including derelict houses that need to be condemned.
Manager Rutherford had met with Mayor Carey and worked out a transition plan that would pass any building permits and fees along to the county if work has not started by October first. Construction that was underway by the transition date would stay with the city through the completion of the building.
After numerous discussions with other council members stating their willingness to work with the county until they are ready to take over the work, Mr. Souza stated, “I've worn out my position this. It's time for me to move on so I'll make that motion.”
The motion was supported by Mr. Kerley and passed unanimously.