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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

City, County and TWRA continuing to move forward on Shooting Sports Park

The Crossville city council met in a work session to discuss the proposed shooting sports park proposed to be located on the city's Dorton landfill property with construction expected to take place in 2017.

The program was brought to the city some 18 months ago by county mayor Ken Carey who said that the TWRA would fund the construction and the land form the city was needed to locate the park on. The work session brought some additional details on the program and the need for the city to be willing to lease the land needed for the project to a non-profit group that is currently being established.

Cumberland County mayor Kenneth Carey, left, talks about plans for the
Shooting Sports Park while city council members Danny Wyatt, center, 
and Pamala Harris, left, listen

Carey started the meeting stating that he and the council were there to “take the old landfill site and make it a tourist destination.” Carey said the matter had been brought to the council several times and council had given their blessing. According to Carey, the funding agencies for the the $2.2 million including federal and state funds have decided that they would be more comfortable with a lease by the city to the non-profit entity that would revert to the city should the park cease to operate.

The funds for the project come from federal Pittman-Robertson funding generate by excise tax on ammunition and granted to states for conservation efforts, hunter's education and shooting projects and programs.

Preliminary plan for local Shooting Sports Park.

Council member Pam Harris asked about potential liability if the city retains ownership of the property and leases it. City attorney Will Ridley said they have discussed putting an indemnification clause in the lease requiring them to maintain a certain amount of insurance.

Councilman J. H, Graham asked about the budget for the non-profit operation and details on the kind of market they would be attempting to reach. Carey said that the budget would be determined once the facility was up and going. The market would include shooting sports such as trap shooting, skeet shooting, sporting clays and pistol competitions.

A large turnout for the city work session on the Shooting Sports Park plans

According to Carey the local facility is being modeled after a similar facility in Carroll County that has pistol teams come from as far away as Texas and Florida. The facility would also allow the hosting of regional and state competitions because of the size of the facility. Carey added that the teams here travel as far as Illinois and Ohio for competitions.

The facility would also benefit local law enforcement. Interim police chief Mark Rosser said that the city has a facility at Meadow Park Lake but they have not spent any money there lately based on the possibility of the new facility. Rosser said the facility includes a paved area and range house but any additions have been put off.

Questions on funding and staffing remain somewhat of a question. Carey said they would determine if a full time position was needed or if all employees would be part-time. The grant requires that the facility be open at least 20 hours a week. According to Carey the plan is for the range to be open more then that and open to the public. He added it is not a membership type facility and that anyone can come a shoot.

Carey said that local shooters have done well in competition and some has aspirations to be on the Olympic team. He pointed out that some of the shooters have to go as far as Nashville to practice one type of discipline now and the practice required make that kind of travel difficult.

According to city attorney Ridley, the plan is for a draft of the agreement to be on the agenda for the January council meeting.

Mayor Carey said in addition to attracting tourists and having a place for locals to enjoy that his ultimate goal is to hopefully attract a gun related industry to locate near the shooting sports park such as a firearms manufacturer.

Link to complete discussion on the topic. 

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