Saturday, October 25, 2014 · 7:56 a.m.
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The Hamilton County Courthouse. (Photo: Staff)

The Hamilton County Commission voted unanimously to spend up to $1.5 million on the construction and operation of a new shooting range for law enforcement officers during their Wednesday meeting. 

The indoor facility, which will be built on the site of the old farmers market warehouse on East 11th Street, will service both the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department and the Chattanooga Police Department, along with federal agencies. Agencies currently conduct training at an outdoor shooting range, located on Moccasin Bend. 

Costs for the new range are expected to top approximately $4 million. Along with the county, the city of Chattanooga will pay up to $1.5 million, and an additional $1,050,000 in federal grant money procured years ago by former 3rd District Rep. Zach Wamp will go toward costs.

Discussion on the measure was light, compared to talks during the group's agenda session last week. Before calling the roll, County Attorney Rheubin Taylor told commissioners he had removed a portion of the resolution as had previously been written, in order to allow the property at Moccasin Bend to remain in city and county hands until a decision is made on how to best part ways with it.

"There's no reference in here as to what is going to happen to the Moccasin Bend property," Taylor said. 

At their previous meeting, commissioners had discussed the possibility of turning the property over to the Moccasin Bend National Archeological District, whose property surrounds the range. 

Although representatives for the park were in attendance at the meeting, no comments were made regarding the land.

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