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Beltrami County Board: County moves ahead on shooting sports park

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Beltrami County commissioners are expected to approve $125,000 Tuesday to begin construction of the Beltrami County Shooting Sports Park in Eckles Township.

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Commissioners will be asked on their consent agenda to approve $125,000 from set-aside recreation funds from the sale of the old fairgrounds to initiate Phase I construction.

Phase II design at $78.800 is nearing completion, and the remaining $46,200 would initiate Phase I construction. The work includes road building and berming. There is $14,000 in additional 4-H grant dollars that will be applied also, county officials said.

A briefing on the project was given to commissioners at their last meeting July 21. They hold their regular meeting at 5 p.m. at the County Administration Building, 701 Minnesota Ave.

The Beltrami County Shooting Sports Park will serve multiple purposes, from a shooting range for law enforcement, to a public shooting range, to a 4-H range for biathlon sports. It will also serve as a trail head for several county trails.

Phase 1 total construction is $1.57 million and includes $1.1 million for a shotgun area, $230,000 for a pistol/rifle area and $240,000 for a general area clearing and infrastructure.

A later Phase 2 at $6.14 million would future develop the site, including a 200-yard and 600-yard rifle range, a trail head facility and 36 recreational vehicle parking.

"It will be a versatile site for all trail users," said project designer Mike Karvakko. The area has also been tested for sound, and meets any standards.

While the county 4-H, local law enforcement and the Headwaters Shooting Club will have areas geared for them, John Winter, county recreation resource manager, said the public will have opportunities to use the facility.

"We provide an asset and rely on our partners to provide the recreational program," County Administrator Tony Murphy said.

"This is quality," said Commissioner Jack Frost. "This is first rate. It will serve as a model for other counties." Firearms safety courses will also be offered from the site.

"We are deeply concerned to make this facility safe and compatible to its neighbors," said Winter. "The shooting park will be a good neighbor."

The only item on the board's regular agenda is to award bids for a County Road 305 bridge replacement. The project would replace a single-lane bridge with timber decking built in 1938 over the Turtle River between Movil Lake and Beltrami Lake.

During the board's 3 p.m. work session, commissioners will hear County State-Aid Highways 101, intentioned to give them background on the county state-aid funding system and then talk about highway rights-of-way encroachment policy.

Commissioners will receive an update on the county solid waste program and talk about marketing the old fairgrounds property.

Also on the board's consent agenda are county bills, warrant payment listing, renewal of office leases for Leech Lake Public Health and of Northwoods Interfaith Caregivers; and, approval of Stacyrich Estates plat in Grant Valley Township.

It includes a resolution to accept a federal grant for Three Island County Park ski trail improvement project, of Pine Tree Park recreation expenditures, of two right-of-way easements to cross county lands and of the shooting sports park monies.

Health and Human Services seeks approval of host county waivered services contracts with personal care attendant organizations enrolled with Prime West Health and for contract amendments.

bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com

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