HUNTSVILLE — The Scott County Sheriff’s Department is requesting that the county locate a feasible parcel of property for a shooting range, which would be utilized by county law enforcement officers for training and certification purposes.
Representing the Sheriff’s Department at Monday’s County Commission worksession, 1st District County Commissioner Eric Newport asked the legislative body’s Building & Grounds Committee to help locate some property for such a range.
“I would like for me and you and some of the others to get together and work out some grounds, something that would be feasible for everybody,” Newport told committee chairman Rick Russ.
The idea has apparently been the subject of ongoing discussions behind the scene, with the abandoned county landfill on Sulphur Creek Road in Helenwood being considered as a potential location. While Russ said the abandoned landfill would be the “perfect place” for a shooting range, he also indicated that the idea of using it has largely been dismissed because of regulations that would prevent its usage as a range.
County attorney John Beaty explained the reasoning behind that, saying that the county remains obligated for the landfill’s post-closure process.
“I’m not saying that it’s not a possibility, but you can’t do anything that would disturb anything that would violate those procedures,” Beaty said, while agreeing with Russ that the old landfill would be an ideal location for a firing range. “You wouldn’t believe what could create an issue up there,” he added.
Newport said the Sheriff’s Department used to utilize the range at Possum Trot for qualifying purposes, but the facility’s owners have placed a stage in the vicinity of the range, which does not leave enough room for qualifying exercises. Local law enforcement have also at times used the National Park Service’s firing range on East Rim Overlook Road near Leatherwood, but Newport said the ideal solution is for the Sheriff’s Department to have its own facility.
Homeless Shelter asks for modification: The Scott County Homeless Shelter has requested the Building & Grounds Committee give its approval to moving the gate at its facility to accommodate access to the rear of the facility by emergency vehicles.
Representing the Homeless Shelter as a member of its board of directors, Lee Crabtree said the shelter is proposing to move the gate 75 feet, at no expense to the county. He said the gate’s current position does not allow ambulances or fire trucks to access the back side of the facility for emergency purposes, which he called a liability.
The homeless shelter occupies the old Capital Hill School building off Annadell Road, leasing the facility from the county on a cost-free basis.
Ultimately, it was determined that Russ and other members of the committee would make a trip to the old school building to survey the proposed change before making a recommendation back to the committee.
Litter grant application approved: By unanimous decision, County Commission’s Community Development Committee approved a request from MaryAnn Perdue, the county’s litter program coordinator, to renew its application for litter grant funding from the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
The county uses the litter grant each year to fund its cleanup and anti-litter education efforts. The grant is about $33,700, funding the bulk of the county’s litter program. The grant application must be approved by the full commission later this month.
Solid waste board members approved: Following the resignation of two members of the Scott County Solid Waste Board, the Community Development Committee on Monday approved a resolution presented by Perdue that solidifies that board’s new appointments and terms.
The Solid Waste Board took on a bit of a new look following the resignations of Stacey Kidd and Shantel Crabtree, who cited heavy work loads in resigning from the beleaguered board.
The resolution presented by Perdue includes Jerry Dodson to represent Winfield, Mitiz Baxter to represent Oneida, Tammie Burchfield to represent Huntsville, and Nancy Chambers, Eddie Pierce, Kyle Short and Ronnie Phillips to represent the rest of the county. All are serving two-, four- or six-year terms that expire on Sept. 1, 1918, with the exception of Dodson and Baxter, whose terms will expire on Sept. 1, 2020.
Russ strongly suggested that a sitting county commissioner be appointed to the board, saying his request was not about a personal grudge but about having the county’s legislative body represented on the board. Perdue agreed to the suggestion, saying any commissioner who would like to serve would be welcomed to do so.
The Solid Waste Board can include up to 15 members.