Belpre Council sets archery range target

BELPRE – Belpre City Council on Monday gave the mayor permission to work with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in placing an archery range in the Civitan Park area.

Prior to the regular council meeting, members met and discussed the liability issues during a council Parks and Recreation Committee meeting.

“Our liability, that’s all I worry about,” said 3rd Ward Councilman Eric Sinnett. “I shoot a bow and went down and walked the area and it looks pretty nice and I think it will be a good addition to the park facilities.”

Mayor Mike Lorentz said the proposed range will be placed in an area of the park near the radio control car race track and the sewage treatment plant.

City Safety-Service Director David Ferguson said he checked with the City of Marietta, which has an archery range by the ODNR at Buckeye Park, and it has seen no increase in the insurance with the range.

“I contacted our liability insurance and am waiting to hear back from them,” Ferguson said.

During the March 11 council meeting, Eric Bear and Dean Sinclair with the ODNR approached council about the positives of having an archery range in the city.

These include working in the schools and giving children and older community members another activity.

“From what I have learned, none of the other ranges in the area have had issues and I think it will be a great addition to offer at our park,” Lorentz said.

The ODNR will provide funding through a grant to the city for the installation of the range.

Lorentz said it will take about a month to receive the grant funds and about a week to install the range.

“It will be ready this summer,” he said.

In other business:

* Council held a public hearing and passed the third and final reading of a resolution to allow the Washington/Morgan Community Action to help the city participate in the Community Housing Improvement Project (CHIP) program.

The funds provide for housing rehabilitation and home repair services to homes within the city that need repairs.

Dawn Rauch, assistant planning director with Washington/Morgan Community Action, said the main goal of the program is to maintain the current housing stock for future generations.

If the city is awarded the funding from the state, Belpre could receive up to $400,000 in grant funds to rehabilitate and repair homes.

The city’s application is due in Columbus next week; if awarded, the city will know in the summer and funds will be available by January.

“The last time the city was funded through this program was in 2009-2011,” Rauch said.

If awarded the funds, the city building will host an application informational event.