Sheriff’s shooting range put on hold

Published 9:30 pm Monday, July 23, 2012

The Chilton County Commission on Monday rescinded a motion that would have given Sheriff Kevin Davis permission to develop a shooting range adjacent to the Chilton County Airport.

Davis entered into a contract with a company—and even received payment—to strip the timber from the property after the commission voted at its July 9 meeting to proceed with the project.

But commissioners changed their minds after owners of property near the proposed range voiced concern and questions arose over whether Clanton city officials approved.

At a regular meeting Monday, the commission halted progress on the range, asked Davis to contact the timber company about getting out of the contract and agreed to work with him on finding a more suitable piece of property.

Lanis Robinson, who had told The Clanton Advertiser he is building a home about 200 yards from the proposed site of the range, attended the meeting to voice his opposition.

“I’m just concerned about an open firing range in the city limits,” Robinson said.

Davis told commissioners he would be willing to discuss alternate sites for the range but would like to see the project completed.

“We’re trying to improve law enforcement in Chilton County,” Davis said.

The commission also tabled a motion to allow Engineer Tony Wearren to purchase five new motorgraders.

Wearren wanted to finance the purchase, which he estimated would total $1.25 million, and then sell at auction six motorgraders that the county’s road department currently uses.

Wearren told commissioners that the department would pay about $143,000 per year on the loan and estimated that $80,000 was spent on maintenance to the current graders during the past year. He estimated the current graders would bring about $125,000 each at auction.

The commissioners wanted to have a better idea about the county’s budget for the next fiscal year, which will begin in October, before committing to the purchase.

“We don’t know where we stand on our money,” commissioner Heedy Hayes said.

The commission was set to take further action after press time. Check and Wednesday’s newspaper for more from the meeting.