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Shooting range plans advance to Kane County Board

Published: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 11:45 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 11:49 p.m. CDT

GENEVA – The Kane County Board on Tuesday is expected to act on the sheriff’s funding request for a shooting range despite one member’s proposal to put the project on hold.

Construction costs for the shooting range initially were estimated at about $1 million but bids for the project indicate costs will be closer to $2 million, leaving a $826,000 shortage.

The sheriff has said the expense could be funded by the surplus generated by housing U.S. Marshal inmates. According to agenda documents, the surplus amounted to $2.6 million in 2012 and $2.1 million in 2013.

Board member Phil Lewis, R-St. Charles, told the Executive Committee on Wednesday that he doesn’t see the urgency to build the range. He said the board should put the project on hold until after the election, as Sheriff Pat Perez is not seeking another term.

A number of issues concern him, Lewis said, noting a desire to make the range accessible to the public. Board member Kurt Kojzarek, R- Elgin, said he has strong reservations about opening the range to the public. In addition to liability issues, he said, he wouldn’t want to take business away from the private sector.

Other board members said costs likely would increase the longer they wait.

Board member John Hoscheit, R-St. Charles, said this is the last project he will vote for before the county creates a comprehensive capital plan because other projects are just as important and pressing.

Lt. Ronald Grommes, who has talked about the project during other committee meetings, said the sheriff’s office intends to make a presentation to the full board next week.

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