Jonesboro moves forward with plans to purchase land for shooting complex

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The city of Jonesboro approved a plan to partner with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission on Tuesday to build a shooting sports complex on the east side of town.

The land would cost the city $1.27 million. According to a Memorandum of Understanding Agreement with the Game & Fish Commission, AGFC will pay for 75% of the project cost.

The shooting complex will be located on a 200-acre site off of Moore Road.

Though the city council approved the MOU, a separate ordinance to purchase the land on Moore Road was held to its first of three required readings.

According to AGFC Assistant Chief of Communications Randy Zellers, plans call for nine shotgun stations, a rifle range, handgun range, and an archery range. The minute order to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with the City of Jonesboro was approved unanimously.

Chief Rick Elliot of the Jonesboro Police Department said he believes the creation of a shooting range will affect more than just Jonesboro.

"This is a huge deal," Chief Elliot said. "Not only for the police department, but for the city of Jonesboro, Northeast Arkansas and this part of the country. This will be a facility that we think will be Regional for people to come to Jonesboro and participate in recreational shooting and shooting competitions."

Chief Elliot believe a shooting range could have a positive boost on the economy.

"So, we think this will draw a large number of people," Elliot said. "On a weekly basis to the Jonesboro area. And with people coming to town, that means they're going to shop and they're going to eat and they'll probably stay in our hotels and things like that. So, that will have a large economic impact for the city also."

Elliot has high hopes for the future of the shooting complex.

"This is a great partnership with the Game and Fish," Elliot said. "Along with the US Fish and Wildlife on this adventure, building this complex. I think we're going to end up with a very nice shooting sports complex for the residents of Jonesboro and Northeast Arkansas."

Elliot said feedback from the community has been positive.

"The support we've been receiving is overwhelming," Elliot said. "We think once, with the announcement today, the momentum of the community will get more fired up and hopefully this project will move forward quickly."

Elliot said their next step is to receive approval from the US Fish and Wildlife.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

Watch Region 8 News On Demand: On your Desktop | On your Mobile device

Region 8 News App - Install or update on your: iPhone | Android