Statesboro City Council will convene for a special called meeting Wednesday to finalize an agreement regarding Georgia Southern University’s planned shooting and archery complex.
According to a council packet released Friday, city leaders will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday in City Hall to consider “an intergovernmental agreement between the City of Statesboro and the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia by and on behalf of Georgia Southern University.”
The agreement sets terms regarding city use of the nearly $7 million Shooting Sports Education Center planned for construction by the university.
Earlier this month, the council pledged $500,000 in support of the center, a complex that is more than 28,000 square feet planned to feature a 16-lane indoor firearms range and a 16-lane archery range, plus an Olympic-class outdoor archery range.
“We are moving forward with the project,” said Russell Keen, the vice president of governmental relations and community engagement at Georgia Southern. “We are happy with the city engaging with us on this effort. It is a project that is mutually beneficial and a great opportunity for the region.”
Statesboro City Manager Frank Parker said the city will host the special meeting, rather than consider the agreement during council’s next scheduled meeting, to give Georgia Southern representatives time to prepare all documents pertaining to the project for a meeting with the Board of Regents early next month.
“This will allow us to finish the final bit of paperwork,” Parker said.
The agreement to be considered Wednesday reads, in part: “the development of a Shooting and Sports Education Center on the campus of Georgia Southern University is found to be in the best interest of the public welfare and safety of the citizens of the City of Statesboro, due to the facility providing the citizens of Statesboro the opportunity for education and training in the shooting sports; providing the Statesboro Police Department a state of the art center for training sessions; and causing an increase in tourism to the City of Statesboro.”
Specifically, the agreement grants a naming recognition opportunity for the City of Statesboro in the firing range area of the facility, provides range/classroom time to the Statesboro Police Department for official training sessions, and allows for reduced firing range rates to members of the Statesboro Police Department for individual training and target practice, and a special rate ($6) for city residents and city employees for one visit every month — a regular rate would apply for additional visits.
“Having our police officers have access, considering this is tax money that is funneled through the city, and having city residents receive a discount is good,” Councilman Phil Boyum said. “From what I have seen so far, the agreement is certainly good for our public safety personnel and the City of Statesboro. I am happy that the university and the city are working together.”
As detailed in the agreement, the city would be required to “pay to Georgia Southern the sum of $250,000 no later than May 1, 2013, and $250,000 no later than July 31, 2013, for funding of the facility.”
The intergovernmental agreement would be in effect for 25 years, unless terminated early by the mutual consent of Georgia Southern and the city.
Jeff Harrison may be reached at (912) 489-9454.