4/29/2009 5:00:00 PM Email this article • Print this article
City council approves public shooting range near landfill
By DOUGLAS BURNS
Carroll City Council (IA) members Monday unanimously approved plans for a public shooting range south of the landfill.
The facility will be operated by the Carroll County Conservation Board.
"This is a very, very safe design," said Mark River, director of Carroll County Conservation.
There are no houses down-range for more than a mile, and the bullets cannot escape into "blue sky," River said.
Concrete side walls, high berms and fixed target locations add to the safety as does the fact that law enforcement can close off the area for its use.
Testing in 2007 showed that traffic from the county road was louder than the shooting.
River said the facility would offer a recreational opportunity to those living near Carroll. About 2,200 people in Carroll County purchased hunting licenses in 2006, and about 40 to 50 percent of Iowa households report gun ownership.
The public range would hopefully cut down on illegal target shooting, said River and Carroll Police Chief Jeff Cayler.
Cayler said the range would have great benefit to area law enforcement. The range will be patrolled by Conservation Board rangers.
Whitetails Unlimited and the Wild Turkey Federation have plans to donate funds to the range, as do other organizations.
"It's not going to be a city taxpayer or county taxpayer issue," River said.
The council weighed in on the matter because it falls into the city's area zoning authority. The Carroll County Conservation Board and the Carroll County Solid Waste Management Commission already have approved the range.
No one spoke against the range at the council meeting.
In other business, the council:
- Approved a bid for $498,533 from Warnke Construction for Phase 4 of the Corridor of Commerce. The initial estimate on cost for that work stood at $688,000.
Phase 4 will involve streetscape and other public enhancements north of U.S. 30 around the developing new Carroll County State Bank and Santa Maria Winery.
- Approved a bid from Danko Emergency Equipment for $46,385 for the purchase and installation of three additional warning sirens for bad weather in the city.
- Directed city officials to move ahead with grant applications for the development of traffic signals at U.S. 30 and Griffith Road.
- Approved an increase in the residential trash pick-up from $11.01 to $11.22 starting on July 1 with another increase to $11.72 on July 1, 2012 that will extend to June 30, 2017. It's an average of about 1 percent increase annually with two haulers, Ray's Refuse Inc. and Carroll Refuse Service, LLC. These are the existing contract owners.
- Approved the first of three necessary readings for application of an agricultural-preservation district in portions of the two-mile area around Carroll, generally to the northeast side of the city.
The zoning application would create requirements for lots being larger than 20 acres or less than 2 acres in order to protect ag interests and promote orderly development. The Planning and Zoning Commission, which dealt with the matter for more than a year, unanimously sent the document to the council.
Mark Wiedemeier, who identified himself as representing landowners in the area, told the council he opposed the plan and called it an overreach by government. He said the market, not government, should dictate how the land in this area is used in the future.
- Started discussions on a proposed new master trails plan submitted by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Advisory Board.
Tom Farner, a member of that board, said efforts were made to connect all of the schools in what he believes is a more direct, simplified system involving both off-street and on-street trails.
"It's a long-range plan," Farner said.
The proposed plan envisions an off-street trail running from Randall Road to West Street, cutting down to Graham Park with an a connection going south on Clark Street. East Anthony Street, Bella Vista Drive and a long stretch of Griffith Road factor into the plan - although several council members are opposed to the concept of using Griffith Road.
Farner and other members of the advisory board have been taking council members on tours of the planned trails route.
"It seems like we're getting a lot more accomplished," Farner said. "We've done a lot of work on this trail."