Cost of Police Firing Range is Now a Million Dollars Higher

Reported by: Bill Mitchell

Edited by: Ashley Henderson
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Updated: 11/14/2013 6:39 pm
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) - Cost overruns threaten the joint city-county police firing range.
The two governments have an agreement to share the expense of building an indoor range on east 11th street.
County Commissioners are debating whether to spend the additional 550-thousand dollars in the latest cost estimate.

If the county and city reach an agreement on costs, a state of the art firing range will be built on this property within the next 3 years.
The original proposal asked for a million and a half dollars from each entity added to a million dollar federal grant, making it a 4-million dollar facility.
But plenty of problems with that agreement popped-up at the Wednesday commissioners meeting, including a higher price tag than first thought.

JOE GRAHAM, COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 6 "I can't support one more nickel for this project until we know exactly
what its going to cost."

Graham was questioning new figures presented by Franklin Architects, that showed the firing range would actually cost the county 550-thousand dollars more than first thought. The city, by the way would also face that additional cost.
Matthew Twitchell, with Franklin Architects points-out his company was not hired when the original cost figures were presented.
Commissioner Tim Boyd wants to start over, calling the city-owned property chosen for the site, worthless.
He says it would cost a million dollars in site preparation before any concrete was poured.

TIM BOYD, DISTRICT 8 "In three years of investigation, there had to be a better place to put this facility."

Sheriff Hammond is confident the project will proceed when the details are worked out.

SHERIFF JIM HAMMOND, HAMILTON CO. "... you're going to have sometimes heated discussions about who's paying for much its costing . As Sheriff I feel right now the county is in a good position, this is certainly, as I said cost a lost less than if we went out and built one of our own."

That range would also be used by area law enforcement agencies..some of whom would contract to train there.
Mayor Berke's office says it wants Chattanooga officers to have the best training resources.
So he's watching the situation closely.

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