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County aims to improve range

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New and improved: This illustration shows what the county's firing range building will look like once completed.
New and improved: This illustration shows what the county's firing range building will look like once completed.

GREENFIELD — The Hancock County Commissioners approved a $104,850 contract Tuesday for improvements at the county’s firing range.

Kip Hart Construction, which put in the lowest of five bids, will take on the project, a 30-by-50-foot training facility that would give local law enforcement officers a place to hold a variety of training exercises.

The current structure, a minibarn attached to a small shelter area at the range in the 4500 block of East U.S. 40, was constructed in 1992 and has had few updates aside from the occasional coat of paint. It is weathered and leaning slightly, officials said.

The current structure, which measures about 10-by-12 eet, is intended only for minor storage and shelter from weather. The targets are outside, and officers train on the grounds as needed.

Department officials envision a new structure that would include classroom space for indoor training.

Kip Hart’s bid covers only part of the cost of the project.

More than $50,000 garnered from a drug bust is also earmarked for the project.

Those proceeds are from a $2.4 million drug bust conducted by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Drug Task Force in March 2010.

Because former sheriff’s deputy Jason Bradbury was a member of the multiagency task force at the time, the federal government awarded Hancock County a portion of the cash that was recovered during the bust, about $52,800.

In accordance with federal guidelines, those funds must be directed toward law enforcement, and Sheriff Mike Shepherd said the building at the range has needed renovating – if not rebuilding – for some time.

Shepherd said he expects to break ground in the next few weeks.

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