The first bid on the project was more than $600,000. It was rebid and the cost lowered to $500,000.
The cost was prohibitive and County Manager Matt Denton said plans were redesigned so that public works staff would do most of the work. This dropped the total to about $300,000 with additional $97,000 grant money earmarked for purchase of equipment.
Denton anticipates the facility will be operational this month. Minor grading and grassing will also be completed at the site.
Police Chief Kenny Dodd said the firing range, first introduced in 2006, is a dream come true for local law enforcement agencies.
He said a training facility for the department would be cost effective and more efficient.
“We need proper training to protect citizens and staff from harm and liability,” Dodd said. “Most lawsuits are based on such things as failure to train, including a low lighted environment.”
Each law enforcement agency has a training officer and Dodd predicts they will work out schedules and times for use of the firing range.
He also plans to host public classes for men and women who want to learn how to use firearms.
“We now have a place to teach them in a controlled environment,” Dodd said.
The facility has a 100-yard rifle range and 50-yard pistol range. A control tower is equipped with both turning and moving targets.
The firing range is located on the grounds of the Polk County Public Safety Complex, adjacent to the former State Patrol building.