The firing range owned by the town of Robbins and its number of users were a source of concern last week at the town Board of Commissioners meeting.
Robbins town manager and police chief Jeffrey Sheffield has allowed North Moore High School students to use the range twice a week the past few weeks to practice for a competition they are entering. Sheffield has also allowed the Moore County Sheriff’s Department to use the range, as well as Tom Brady to conduct a concealed carry class. Aside from these groups, the Robbins Police Department is the only group that can use the firing range.
Sheffield saw this as a chance for the town to help the community and the students. However, citizens have been concerned with the sound coming from the firing range.
Town resident Kenneth Allen stated that he feels the firing range disturbs the peace of the surrounding areas and puts a strain on those that live nearby. Allen said on one recent Saturday he drove by the firing range and saw 20 cars parked outside. Allen feels that it is unfair to the town’s residents if not everyone using the range is from Robbins.
Resident Brian Allen agreed: “It is a shame that the nicest piece of property within the city limits has a gun range on it and is not being fully utilized for running, hiking and other outdoor activities.”
Commissioner David Lambert noted that the town should work to find a good balance of concern for citizens who live nearby and the public utility that the range can offer.
“Something needs to be done due to the fact that this issue has come up every few years,” Commissioner Terri Holt said.
Robbins police officers are the only people with access to the firing range but others are able to access it by walking around to let themselves in.
Lambert proposed drafting a resolution that would allow Sheffield to use his discretion in allowing people to use the range and that unauthorized users would not be allowed on the property. The motion was approved 3-2 with commissioners Kevin Stewart, Joey Boswell and Lambert voting in favor of the idea. Mayor Pro-Tem Nikki Green and Holt were the two dissenting votes.
In other business, the Robbins Board of Commissioners:
* learned that the electrical grounding and lighting work that has been going on at the Wastewater Treatment Plant is almost completed and will make the plant more accessible at night in case of an emergency.
* agreed to reject the USDA’s offer of a partial loan and grant toward funding improvements at the wastewater plant. If the board wants to reconsider the offer, it will have to wait until October 1 to submit a new application.
* directed Town Attorney A.C. Morphis to draw up an amendment pertaining to an ordinance on chicken and other fowl within city limits. The amendment would state that chickens are not allowed to run at large, there should only be 10 chickens in a lot, lots should be 30 feet from the nearest residence and located in the back yard. In addition, all chicken houses and lots should be clean and sanitary, and it would be unlawful to raise chickens for commercial purposes.
* approved an appearance commission and facade program under the discretion of the town staff and town attorney. The facade program would allow the town to give money to businesses based on proposed plans to improve the exterior of downtown buildings. The program would be grant-based and that the owners of the businesses will have to do work in order to receive funding.