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Front Page » January 14, 2003 » Local News » Shooting range takes major step toward becoming reality
Published 4,649 days ago

Shooting range takes major step toward becoming reality

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Staff reporter

Commissioners Steve Burge, Mike Milovich and Bill Krompel approve a CIB grant contract to build an indoor shooting range at the county fairgrounds.

The Carbon County Commission conducted two meetings last Wednesday. One short session involved a Carbon County Municipal Building Authority grant contract and the longer meeting was to conduct regular commission business.

In the five minute session, the commission approved the contract for a grant from the Utah Community Impact Board for $750,000 toward covering the costs of the new indoor gun target range the county plans to build near the fairgrounds.

"This grant along with a loan for the same amount will help us to build this facility," pointed out Commissioner Mike Milovich "Once we have established the exact site, we should be able to break ground sometime in May or June of this year."

The inside gun range will act not only as a place for local shooters to practice, but may become a draw for state and regional competitions. It could tie in with speculation that the Helper Gun Club may close. It appears the state may withdraw its lease to the gun club to develop the property in the hills above Helper. If that happens, there could be a move to develop an outside shooting range near Pinnacle Peak.

"That could work well for competitions," noted Commissioner Bill Krompel. "The two ranges would be close to each other and could make it a good place to hold all kinds of competitions that use both kinds of facilities."

Following the approval, the lawmakers convened the regular meeting of the commission with a property tax concern being the subject of the most discussion.

"I own a number of lots in the Scofield area which I have not been able to sell because, after I bought them, we discovered that they were not of minimum size," Ron Spears told the commission. "Over half the lots were undersized and, so far, the survey that the county was helping with has not been finished. I am asking you to allow my taxes to be changed on these lots because I have no recourse right now but to hold onto them."

A discussion then ensued about what involvement the county has had in the situation.

Building and zoning director Dave Levanger said, due to problems in the plats, the county had agreed in some telephone negotiations to do the surveying to get the lots up to proper sizes.

"Some of those lots were out quite substantially," noted Levanger. "The negotiation was done by George Harmond (deputy county attorney), but I have no documentation on it."

Commissioner Steven Burge said he talked with Evan Hansen. Hansen has established the corners for the survey, but winter weather had moved in and halted the work.

"I have tax notices for each of the lots," indicated Spears. "A few of them are being completely changed and I can't even show potential buyers what the boundaries are. These are not legal lots so I shouldn't be taxed for them that way."

"I thought this lot problem had been solved," replied Milovich. "The problem with your request is that you should have come in before taxes were due. You should have met with the board of equalization. I don't think we can do anything to help on this now."

County Attorney Gene Strate pointed out that the statutes prevent the commission from doing anything after taxes are due.

"Well, we need Evan up there to finish it," commented Milovich.

The commissioners indicated the county would work with Spears to resolve the situation.

In another area of business concerning the Scofield area, Levanger brought an interlocal agreement between the town and the county for the building permit services.

"This is the same agreement we have had for years with Scofield," Levanger told the commission.

But Burge had a concern regarding the fact that the county is a contractor in the agreement.

"I wonder if this agreement makes it so that your department doesn't have government immunity if something happens," said Burge.

Levanger pointed out that Carbon government has the same type of agreement with almost all the towns in the county, with the exception of East Carbon and Price.

The commission decided to approve the agreement, but asked the county attorney to check into the concern.

In unrelated actions, the commission approved a zoning change for property owned by John Wimmer on the Coal Creek Loop from C-1 to RR-1 for a small subdivision. The officials also approved Sam Chiara to act as the public defender conflict attorney for two years.

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