Preliminary architectural work underway for public/private shoot - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Preliminary architectural work underway for public/private shooting range in Jonesboro

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) -

One Jonesboro neighborhood has grown accustomed to hearing gunshots over the years.

"It's not like, continuously," Juan Montoya told Region 8 News. "Probably we hear the gunshots for 20 minutes, 30 minutes and that's it."

Montoya lives on Sullivan Circle, a neighborhood that has experienced a lot of growth recently.

That growth has caught the attention of the City of Jonesboro too, because Sullivan Circle butts up to the Jonesboro Police Department Firing Range.

JPD's firing range has been located inside Craighead Forest Park for the past 4 decades.

Even though there is a berm that separates the firing range from the neighborhood, Jonesboro Police Chief Rick Elliott told Region 8 News that safety is a concern.

"We recognized that problem and have recognized this problem for the past several years," Chief Elliott said. "It's just here recently that this land deal came up with City Water and Light and everything kind of fell into place."

CWL and the City of Jonesboro have been discussing a deal to transfer properties owned by each entity.

CWL owns roughly 25 acres off of Dan Avenue in Jonesboro.

They will exchange that property for 0.16 acres in downtown Jonesboro.

The two pieces of property appraised for roughly the same amount of money.

Tuesday night, city councilmen unanimously approved a resolution to transfer the property between the two entities.

Montoya said after living on Sullivan Circle for 2 years, he's never had a problem with the firing range, but agrees with the decision by city leaders to move it.

"I mean, who knows if during the practicing if they have a missing bullet and who knows where it's gonna hit," Montoya said.

Now that the property transfer has been approved, Chief Elliott said he's excited to get everything in place.

"We're ready to get away from Craighead Forest and I'm sure the people out there are ready for us to get away," he said. "This won't be a quick process, but we've got the wheels in motion."

Already, preliminary architectural work has been done.

Elliott said a berm will need to be put in place first.

Debris from the old Indian Mall on Caraway Road will likely be used as a base for the berm, which must be 26 feet tall.

Chief Elliott said once things are in place, they hope to open the firing range to the public certain days of the week. He added that they hope to work with local trap shooting teams as well.

Until the new firing range is complete, Chief Elliott said they will try to limit shooting at the firing range at Craighead Forest Park to just handgun training.

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