control board July 23, 2019

The City of Mansfield's Control Board speaks with Mansfield Police Chief Keith Porch and Assistant Chief, Joseph D. Petrycki, Tuesday morning.

MANSFIELD -- New plans for a shooting range for the Mansfield Police Department were the focus of the city's Board of Control meeting Tuesday morning.

The board approved a $35,000 excavation and build for 30-foot walls in connection with a shooting range near Mansfield Lahm Airport.

Since November 2018, plans of a shooting range have been discussed. But according to Linn Steward, finance chair of the control board, new and significantly less costly plans had to be created.

"All I know is that (in the previous plan) we would have had to (pay) about $115,000 for about 25 years (for the $1.67 million plan) and we would have had to go out for bonds and borrow money," she said. "We decided to look at other plans and got some quotes to update (the range near the Mansfield Lahm Airport).

"I'm thinking they said it might be $110,000 for everything. They might need a small building to store material."

The eight-person board meeting lasted just 11 minutes.

Mansfield Police Chief Keith Porch and Assistant Chief Joseph D. Petrycki, spoke to the control board about the design on the new outdoor range, which will be at the airport but separate from the 179th Air Lift Wing.

Porch said the dimensions of the firing range will be 200-feet by 75-feet. The range will be divided into two lanes. The conversation also included a ballistic backstop to catch and collect the lead bullets after they've been fired.

Porch said there will be a 75-foot wide, 30-foot tall ballistic backstop.

Originally, Steward said, the backstop was going to be dirt. But Mayor Tim Theaker and Porch said they'd prefer sand.

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"When you shoot into dirt, it would be very difficult to take lead out," Theaker said of FDA regulations for disposing of lead. "You almost have to dispose of the the dirt, it's that hard to get rid of the lead.

"One of the things I've been reading is with sand, you run the sand through a screen and you collect the lead (bullets)," he continued. "Then you can reuse the sand."

The quote the city has for the 365 cubic yards of sand to fill the back stop is $3,000, Theaker said.

The chief said his department has about $2,500 in the revolving capital budget to potentially go towards the purchase of sand.

"I can go either way," Porch said. "I had my firearm instructors go and try out these different ranges. If we are constantly shooting into these backstops, we'll have to replace them eventually. Sand is ballistic protection and what I'm told is the product is phenomenal."

At the end of the meeting, Theaker put in a motion for the $35,000 excavation and building of 30-foot walls. The motion was unanimously approved.

Staff Reporter

Noah Jones is host to The Open Mic Podcast -- available on Apple Podcasts! He is the crime, education and music reporter for Richland Source. He is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and a giant Cardinals fan.