The Adams County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved a conditional-use permit that would allow the Adams County Sheriff’s Office to continue operating its Riverdale Road shooting range until a new training facility is constructed.
“I certainly have been supportive of this regional facility that we will have down the road, but we have to do something in the meantime until that’s built,” Commissioner Alice Nichol said. “Economic conditions at the county have not allowed us to be where we would like to be today.”
Testimony from community members concerned about stray bullets entering their property and loud gunshot noises during the early morning and late evening hours prompted the commissioners to reduce the Riverdale facility’s hours of operation.
“I’m in support of our officers being trained, but it’s really bad when they’re shooting those high-caliber weapons,” Adams County resident Jeff Arnold said. “I’m a gun enthusiast and I like to shoot, but I don’t like to hear it until 10 p.m.”
Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr said reported incidents of stray bullets entering neighboring properties were investigated by the Sheriff’s Office.
In most cases, he said, the stray rounds found did not match any of those used by law-enforcement agencies at the shooting range.
Under the approved permit, the year-round hours of operations for the facility will be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
“No one wants to leave more than we do, but we also have a responsibility to train and provide other contracted law-enforcement agencies with a facility,” Darr said. “We have to fulfill our obligations and keep our word.”
The approval of the conditional-use permit was one of the last steps the Sheriff’s Office needed to complete before ground can be broken for the new facility in about two weeks.
“It’s very frustrating that it has taken this long to build this facility,” Commissioner W.R. “Skip” Fischer said. “We’re trying to get out of there as quick as we can and build a facility that all law-enforcement agencies in the area can be using and supporting. If we had it our way, we would have been out of there two years ago.”
Kansas City-based DCM Construction was given approval in January by the Board of County Commissioners to begin the preliminary work on Phase I of the Flatrock Regional Training Center.
To date, DCM Construction project manager Steve Duncanson said, nearly $7.8 million in contracts for Phase I of the project have been awarded.
Duncanson said this phase will include the construction of an administration building, six-acre, asphalt skid pad, high-speed driving course and parts of the facility’s parking lot.