The Crossville city council reversed its stance on selling property for use as a shooting sports park and the controversial project is back moving forward following a special called meeting Tuesday evening.
Discussion on a proposed shooting sports park first became public 20 months ago and was discussed at city council meetings as the group trying to build the facility were seeking property to locate the park on from the city.
Mayor James Mayberry addresses called meeting
That property was a portion of land purchased over 20 years ago and used for a few years as a city run landfill. After the landfill closed the land set quietly until this project cropped up. The project was discussed, received support from the previous council and occasionally came back for discussion as funding was committed and new details emerged.
Things began moving at full speed late last year with work on a contract to sell a portion of the city's original property to a nonprofit group formed to operate the facility. A sales contract was approved by council at their February meeting and a small but vocal group of residents who lived near the proposed location began to complain about who the proposed park could effect their homes.
In March, the contract was rescinded by the council at a special called meeting shortly before the sale was to close under the original contract and additional meetings were held along with a shooting demonstration at the property this past Saturday. Sources say that additional work by new city manager Greg Wood and changes to the contract by city attorney Will Ridley moved the project back to council consideration.
Crossville city attorney WIll Ridley
explains contract changes.
One change that was made to the original deal is that the remaining portion of the property along Albert Frye Road that will only be used for quiet activities such as air guns, archery and education programs. This will create a buffer between the shooting park and the closest property beside the shooting park.
The city had already planned to retain an area along Albert Frye Road for possible future development and possible industrial use. The city also retains the portion of the property previously used as a landfill and other property along the southern edge of the original property purchased by the city.
Video of full council meeting
The discussion opened at the special called meeting Tuesday night and Mayor James Mayberry moved to approve the new contract prepared by city attorney Will Ridley with the changes. Mayberry's motion received a second from councilman Scot Shanks.
Mr. Ridley explained about the changes to the original agreement that restricted the use of the 13.86 acres in the Northwest corner of the property bordered on the north by Albert Frye Rd and on the east by private property that includes a residential cabin.
Ridley said that the property would revert to the city if funding is not secured by December 31, 2016 and that funding must be state of federal money.
Other provisions include that the city council will have the right to appoint two members of the Crossville Shooting Park, Inc. board and the city will not charge for any building or other permits required in the development of the project.
Councilman J. H. Graham said he and some of the property owners in the area of the park had concerns about the road into the site and the turn off from Peavine road and felt the road should be brought up to standards of the Crossville Regional Planning commission. Graham felt there should be a 50 foot right of way and a 3 lane mouth on the end of the road.
Councilman J. H. Graham talks about Albert Frye Rd.
Mr. Ridley said the road was a county road and and he didn't feel the city could force the county to make such improvements.
In order to hear from shooting park board representative James Wattenbarger the council had to approve a motion to waive the rules against public comment as council member Danny Wyatt had a question for him. The discussion included noise abatement by putting rubber mulch into the walls separating the shooting stations and while that was more expensive, it would help with noise. When asked about the road, Wattenbarger said the road to the Carroll Co. park was smaller and longer then Albert Frye.
Also discussed was night shooting and Wattenbarger said generally shooting ranges operate to dusk and that time varies with the calendar. He pointed out in summer that the time of dusk was later. The facility will not be set up for night shooting either.
Property owner Harold Stryker suggested making the entrance to the range come off of Chestnut Hill Road saying it was a better road and could handle more traffic but no action was taken on that suggestion.
The vote on the motion to approve the new contract was unanimous with a comment from Mr. Graham saying that he was strongly opposed to approving a contract without road improvements in it but added, I am for the shooting range and I vote aye.”