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The City of Jonesboro closed Monday on property that will allow the City to move forward with the planned Jonesboro Shooting Range Complex/Educational Center.
The City purchased 208.7 acres on Moore’s Road in southeast Jonesboro from multiple owners for a price of $1.276 million.
The closing marked a significant step in a $10 million project that includes a $2 million grant obtained by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
“This is a big step toward making our shooting range a reality,” Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin said. “Signing those papers was a relief, because we’ve been through a lot of ups and downs, and I’m grateful to the landowners for being patient, and Arkansas Game and Fish for its tremendous work in obtaining the grant.”
The shooting range will be not only a significant upgrade for Jonesboro police training, but its design will make it an attraction for shooting and archery enthusiasts around the region. The $2 million federal grant comes through the Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act's Basic Hunter Education and Safety Program.
The complex will include nine trap/skeet fields, a 200-yard rifle range, a 50-yard pistol range, and 3-D and traditional archery ranges. The main building will have a classroom to hold 80 to 100 people for training/educational purposes.
“We will have training classes for shooting sports and archery – things like hunter education, safety, how to shoot trap, etc.,” Jonesboro Chief of Police Rick Elliott said. “This will definitely be a public-private partnership, so we are finding corporate donors to offset expenses.”
In the big picture, the facility will be a financial boon to the Jonesboro tax roll, city Chief Financial Officer Bill Reznicek said.
“Our police department can share it with the public, and we can host a lot of events that will bring in tourism revenue,” Reznicek said, adding that the facility is a basic need for police but also a source of entertainment for shooting enthusiasts.
“Their current facility is pretty primitive,” he said. “This will be better and should bring in some A&P tourism dollars. That’s almost a no-brainer.”
Preliminary drawings are complete, and the next step is architecture, Elliott said.
“We will finish up plans on the site work, and we will bid out for a contractor for site development,” he said.