JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A new firing range in Jonesboro is a step closer to becoming a reality.
A meeting took place Wednesday afternoon at the Jonesboro Municipal Center.
Chief Rick Elliott of the Jonesboro Police Department and Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin announced a potential location had been found.
The site for the project is 310 acres off Moore Road.
Chief Elliott said they have been looking for a location for some time.
"When I took over as chief a year and a half ago that was one of the first things I wanted to do was find a new firing range," Elliott said. "We had worked out a deal with City, Water and Light on 25 acres on Dan Avenue and we were at the point, had money set aside for this year to start construction. We were about to start moving dirt on that facility when I happened to contact somebody with Arkansas Game and Fish and they said they might be able to help fund this."
Elliott said this will be more than a firing range. It will be a shooting sports complex.
"The general public will have access to everything," Elliott said. "They can shoot archery. They can shoot skeet and trap. There are nine ranges for skeet and trap."
Elliott said they will also add a large fishing pond.
"Come weekends you load the car with your fishing poles, your guns and you come out and you can enjoy fishing and shooting sports and hang out and hopefully have a good time," Elliott said.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) will keep the pond stocked.
Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd said this new facility will also be able to host trap and skeet shooting tournaments for local teams.
"Right now there's only one range in Arkansas that can accommodate the state level or regional level tournaments and that's in Jacksonville," Boyd said. "But to have a facility here and host it here in Jonesboro and have Northeast Arkansas in the spotlight brings people from all over that may have never driven to Jonesboro and then get to see what we have to offer in Craighead County."
Mayor Perrin said he is equally excited about the project and its potential.
"We visited several facilities and I was amazed at the economic impact," Perrin said. "It's really going to be a calling card pulling people in to the city of Jonesboro to spend dollars. Not only Jonesboro in my opinion, but Northeast Arkansas and even Southeast Missouri."
Mayor Perrin said an estimated cost of the project including cost of studies and site work is around $7 million.
The AGFC will be covering 75% of the cost with the city taking on 25%.
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