Houston & Peach

Houston deputies getting their own place to shoot

Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton, center, speaks with Commissioner Tom McMichael, right, and Personnel Director Ken Carter following the commission meeting Tuesday in which funding was approved to start building a gun range for deputies.
Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton, center, speaks with Commissioner Tom McMichael, right, and Personnel Director Ken Carter following the commission meeting Tuesday in which funding was approved to start building a gun range for deputies. wcrenshaw@macon.com

In a few months, Houston County sheriff’s deputies will have their own gun range.

The County Commission on Tuesday approved a bid of $297,627 from Peed Brothers to do the grading work for the range. It will be on the north side of the county landfill near Ga. 247.

Sheriff Cullen Talton, who was at the meeting, said deputies are required to have a certain amount of range time each year. They currently use the ranges of the police departments in Warner Robins or Perry. However, it can be difficult for deputies schedule time on the ranges, he said.

By having their own range, he said deputies can shoot whenever they want. The range will accommodate shooting from pistols, rifles and shotguns. It will include a building for training classes with restrooms, and that part of it will be bid later.

“It’s going to be a great asset to the sheriff’s department,” Talton said.

Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said the total project is expected to cost about $500,000 and it should be open by late spring. The amount includes the cost of building a road and running utilities to the site.

Talton said after the meeting that he is not sure yet whether the range will have times for public use. He said someone must be there to monitor it and he doesn’t know if he would be able to spare the manpower.

Robbie Dunbar, the county’s operations director, said the bid amount for the grading includes concrete paving for the shooting area, installation of a drainage system, and creation of a 25-foot berm on the sides and end of the range. He said the shooting will be away from Ga. 247. The berm will require 23,871 cubic yards of dirt to be moved and placed. The total range site is slightly over 10 acres.

Dunbar said the grading work will begin within a month and will take about four months to complete. Once that is done, work can begin on the building. Plans also include a shelter over the shooting area so that shooting can be done when it is raining.

Wayne Crenshaw: 478-256-9725, @WayneCrenshaw1

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