The City of Valley City has closed the shooting range that was located in the basement of the Law Enforcement Center building, City Administrator David Schelkoph said Thursday.
“We closed it (in December) because we had the Department of Health come in and they did a test; they told us they believe there’s too much lead inside the shooting area,” Schelkoph said. “To be safe rather than sorry we closed it down.”
Schelkoph said that the health department has not told the city to close the building down; rather, they would need to clean the lead and install a ventilation system that meets OSHA standards before anyone can use the range.
Schelkoph said, “We have to do a lot of planning, talking to stake holders and look at total costs,” but they do not have any of that information available yet.
The city will have to “put a plan together on what it will take to get this to be a certified shooting range,” Schelkoph said. “We’ll have to talk about it in the future, but right now focus on cleaning up.”
First, they have to find a contractor certified by the Environmental Protection Agency for lead removal and get quotes on cleanup.
He added that the city might want to go to the participating organizations that currently use the gun range and work with them, and “maybe they want to do fundraising.”
“The city is going to have to determine if it’s worth the money to spend or close (the range) down permanently,” Schelkoph said. “We want to make sure that whatever we’re doing, we’re doing in the best interest of the citizens and health of the citizens of Valley City.”
The presence of lead came from bullets that hit metal in the back of the range.
Schelkoph said that there are no other indoor shooting ranges in the county.