Lacombe Fish and Game Association has set its sights on a new gun range.
The group plans to build a $1.3-$1.5 million facility just south of Lacombe off Hwy 2A.
Association member Grant Creasey told Lacombe County’s municipal planning commission on Thursday the 7,300-square-foot facility will have a 100-metre range for long guns and a shorter range for handguns.
The indoor target facility will be restricted to Lacombe Fish and Game members.
Creasey said the association has been putting aside money for years for the project. Over the last decade, Lacombe has been losing members to Ponoka’s fish and game association because it has an outdoor shooting range for its members.
“We see it as a valuable service to our members and intended to be used just by our members,” he said of the new facility.
The gun range will be located on a small strip of land at Hwy 2A and the C&E Trail, where it crosses the highway several kilometres south of Lacombe. The 1.7-acre site is no longer used. It is overgrown and full of rusting farm equipment and vehicles and an abandoned building.
It will be cleared completely to make way for the gun range and parking for 42 vehicles.
County planner Jesse McPhail said the target facility is one of the few viable uses for the small sliver of land sandwiched between a gravel road and the CP Rail line.
The planning commission unanimously approved the range on 11 conditions, including that the association lines up the necessary Alberta Transportation approvals.
That approval may prove a hurdle for the association. Alberta Transportation says in a letter to Lacombe County it wants a traffic impact assessment and may require intersection upgrades at Hwy 2A.
That came as news to the association. Creasey questioned those conditions given that the area has already been subject to various studies as part of a future provincial project to move the highway access.
The association plans to discuss the issue with Alberta Transportation.
There was some debate about whether the county condition that Alberta Transportation approval be required, since the project could not go ahead without the green light from the department anyway.
Council was told by planners that it is a standard condition when provincial approvals are required.