Russell shooting range OK'd

The Russell County Commission gave its OK to the Sheriff's Department's plan to develop a shooting range near the Fort Benning military reservation in Fort Mitchell.

The department will lease 88 acres owned by Phenix City businessman Johnny Dudley between Alabama 165 and the Chattahoochee River virtually surrounded by Fort Benning.

Dudley and the department would sign a 5-year renewable lease at $1 a year, with a 60-day notice of cancellation by either party.

Sheriff Tommy Boswell said the site is a former sand pit and already has earthen berms commonly used in target shooting facilities.

"It couldn't hardly be any better," the sheriff said. "There will not be any community complaints on this one because its miles away from any house. It's totally landlocked with Fort Benning on two sides and Uchee Creek on two sides."

The Sheriff's Department has used Phenix City's firing range for the last few years, but a dispute over the use of the city's range by a Phenix City Housing Authority officer caused the department to seek an alternative. The dispute has since been resolved.