Columbia County commissioners nixed spending nearly $100,000 on a feasibility study for a shooting range at a recent committee meeting.
"I'm not spending $96,000 after getting lambasted for spending $15,000 for a logo," Commissioner Steve Brown said, referring to the logo the county adopted in 2004.
Tammy Stout, the executive director of the Greater Augusta Sports Council, pitched the feasibility study to officials at a Community and Emergency Services Committee meeting Dec. 19.
The study would examine the shooting range's ability to generate revenue and could include a master plan for the entire acreage of the Baker Place Road Landfill near Grovetown.
It was about this time last year that USA Shooting, which is the national governing body for Olympic shooting sports, first showed an interest in Columbia County as a possible site for a world-class Olympic shooting range complex.
USA Shooting has since chosen Kerrville, Texas, as the site for its official range, but officials with the organization said they would be interested in bringing shooting events to Columbia County if a range were built.
Brown said he felt the commission wasn't yet committed enough to a shooting range to justify spending $96,000 on the study.
"Until we get on board as a commission, I'm not in favor of approving money for a feasibility study," he said at the meeting.
Stout said that was the purpose of her proposal.
"That's what we're asking," she said. "Does the county want to commit to moving forward?"
To answer that question, Administrator Steve Szablewski said county employees can conduct an in-house study to assess the value of a shooting range at Baker Place.
Szablewski told commissioners he would present a proposal for an in-house study at a future committee meeting.
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