The Smackover City Council met on Monday and discussed the use of unused city-owned land for a local sport shooting team.
Council member Mark Corley brought forward Allyn Ladd, a shooting coach for Smackover Shooting Sports, a team comprised of Smackover-Norphlet District high school and junior high students, to discuss the use of city-owned land, specifically a former city dump location, for a practice shooting range.
The location currently has no set address, but is located off Smackover Highway on a gravel county road.
"We had a spot and did a lot of work on that and it's kind of [fallen] apart, so we're looking for another place. We applied for a grant through the state and got $19,000... We've used that a little bit for supplies and shoots, but there's still money in the account at the moment and every year we can apply for the same grant," Ladd said.
Ladd added that the grant has a stipulation that certain supplies can only be purchased if the shooting team has a permanent location.
"On average, one five stand shooting field runs about $25,000. That's the machine, the concrete house -- if nothing got donated, concrete or anything like that," Ladd said.
Ladd said the proposed location -- the 21-acre old city dump -- would be adequate for the team's needs. The shooting team consists of 28 students and currently practices at a paid range in Camden.
He continued, saying setting up the location would consist of the team beginning with one concrete structure to house skeet throwers. The goal for the team would be an eventual three houses, which would allow the team to host tournaments, Ladd said.
"The way it's laid out with the berm - we have to shoot north to south and it's kind of laid out like that already," Ladd said.
Council member Chris Long also inquired about using a range at the location for other shooting tournaments and similar events.
"Outside tournaments? There's ATA [Amateur Trapshooting Association], which Camden runs and you could have ATA tournaments out of it too," Ladd said.
Mayor Bobby Neal said the range could also be used by the Smackover Police Department, who are required to do quarterly training shoots.
"There's a lot of grant money we can get, especially if we combine things like that," Ladd said.
Corley explained his proposal.
"What we're looking for is to get the city to survey it and see what we have out there," Corley said.
A motion by Long to move forward with surveying the land and determining its suitability for a shooting range passed unanimously.