City Attorney John Rea briefed the council about the problems associated with a request from the FOP to help repair a driveway on the property, which is located along Pleasant Valley Road.
The property is not in the city, and it is privately owned.
“You can’t pave my driveway,” he said. “You can’t pave their driveway.”
Even though the property is not “public property,” the Pell City Police Department uses the facility for weapons training and qualifications. The department also offers gun training courses to the public, and the FOP shooting range is used for that training.
“We are probably the biggest users of the facility,” Rea said.
He told the council the in-kind work would cost the city about $2,172 for a pipe and gravel. The city would prepare the road or driveway, but the St. Clair County Commission would have to have the county road department resurface the driveway.
St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department deputies, who are members of the local FOP, also uses the firing range.
Rea recommended that the city not own or lease the firing range because of various liability issues that are attached to property where firearms are discharged.
“I’m not sure it’s in the best interest of the city,” he said.
He said FOP members and their guests have access to the firing range.
Rea said a proposed contract agreement could stipulate the city could use the facility for training purposes in return for in-kind services or an annual fee.
Councilman Jay Jenkins voiced concerns about the city leasing the property, and he wanted to know exactly what the city’s insurance would cover, if an accident occurred at the firing range.
“We need to look at all of this thoroughly,” he said.
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