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Mount Pleasant police

Trustees on the Mount Pleasant Finance/Legal/License Committee are expected to approve Wednesday the start of construction on the police firing range.

MPPD Chief Tim Zarzecki said the goal is to at least get started and go as far as they can with the money they have.

“We want to get going to as far as we can and then we can try and raise the funds for whatever isn’t finished,” he said.

The police department has about $275,000 of the estimated $450,000 cost to construct the range, including $150,000 from the City of Racine so their officers can also utilize the range; $7,000 in prize money from a shooting contest won by Officer Eric Giese last year; $95,000 in donations, including $75,000 from SC Johnson; and a handful of $500 donations from area companies like Insinkerator.

Impact fees totaling $80,000 could also be used, and Zarzecki said he plans to bring those funds up during the committee discussion.

The firing range was part of the design of the new village hall/police department, but wasn’t completed because of cost. Officers have been using Shooters in Caledonia to practice, but after at least one accidental shooting in January and a suicide there in February, Zarzecki said it’s no longer safe for police.

More, having a firing range at police headquarters will save village taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in overtime every year.

“Having our own range means officers can come by while they’re on duty and get in their practice time without using overtime, which is what we have to do now,” he said.

Estimated savings come to $20,000 a year plus the $2,000 to $3,000 for renting practice facilities.

Trustee David DeGroot, chair of the Finance/Legal/License Committee, told Racine County Eye that the firing range will happen this year.

“We’ll find a way to get it done,” he said.

Construction of the range is expected to take 90 days, Mount Pleasant police Lt. Scott Geyer confirmed. He is in contact with three companies that can do the work, but the final choice will depend on some details that haven’t been decided yet like what kind of backstop will be installed and the installation of a ventilation system that removes lead particles from the air.

Maintenance and upkeep of the range will be paid for with rental fees when other agencies like the county sheriff.

The Finance/Legal/License Committee meets at 10 a.m. Wednesday in Community Room 2 at Village Hall, 8811 Campus Drive. Call (262) 664-7800.