|Trap shooting complex could be coming to Everett-Stewart |
|Posted: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 12:00 pm |
|By KEVIN BOWDEN |
Special to the Press
Local trap shooting enthusiast Steve Vaughn has received a green light from the Everett-Stewart Regional Airport board to put together a proposal for a state-of-the-art trap shooting complex at the local airport.
Vaughn met with the airport board Oct. 25 and laid out his plan for a skeet/trap shooting complex that he is proposing to build on a 10-acre site behind the rendering plant off River Road, east of Union City.
Vaughn’s plan is still in the very early stages, but the airport board appeared open to his proposal to use 10 acres of the airport’s farmland to build the trap/skeet shooting complex.
“We haven’t quit looking for other options, but no other options have presented themselves,” Vaughn told the board during his near-30 minute presentation.
The plan to build the complex will involve the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, the University of Tennessee at Martin and will have to be approved by the county commissions in Obion and Weakley counties, according to Vaughn.
It’s an ambitious project, with a price tag of more than $100,000, but Vaughn said grants are available.
He explained the sport of competitive trap and skeet shooting is very popular in Tennessee. The proposed complex would be designed and operated as a youth shooting sport program.
Vaughn told the board the recent state championship shoot in Tennessee had some 1,800 to 1,900 competitors, while the national shoot in Sparta, Ill., drew only 1,700 competitors.
“It’s a huge program in Tennessee,” Vaughn said.
The complex being proposed for the airport property would include four combination trap/skeet shooting fields and one international shooting field. Vaughn said it is his goal to have an Olympic-grade range that could be used by the UTM trap/skeet shooting team as well as by other groups and the public. He even talked about using the facility for special events.
“This project definitely has legs to it. Let’s keep pushing it forward,” board member Jim Bondurant said.
With that, the board asked Vaughn to draft a formal letter of intent for the project.
“Alright, we’ll get working on it,” he said.
Also during Thursday’s near 90-minute meeting, the airport board was given a thorough report on a variety of airport projects by Tim Gibson with the Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon consulting firm. He updated the board on the final stages of nine different projects, ranging from a security fence at the airport to the planned construction of a new hangar to progress being made on an agricultural development area.
It was the ag development project that was discussed at length by the board. A near-$439,000 bid has been awarded to Ford Construction Co. for the site work, but the company isn’t planning to begin work on the site until the spring.
That raised some concerns among board members, who appeared impatient to get the project started as soon as possible in order to accommodate crop dusting operators wanting to set up at the airport.
The airport board did authorize airport manager Jo Ann Speer to seek federal funding to buy and install security cameras for the ag development project. It was estimated a wireless security camera system will cost around $20,000.
Also, Mrs. Speer reported a water well at the ag development site has been installed, at a cost of $8,900. Of that amount, Obion County, Weakley County and Union City have covered $6,200 of the cost of the well, according to Mrs. Speer.
The airport board’s next scheduled meeting is set for 7 a.m. Nov. 29.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden is a staff reporter for the Union City Daily Messenger. Published in The WCP 10.30.12