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Trustees on the Mount Pleasant Finance/Legal/License Committee Wednesday gave the OK for the police department to borrow up to $350,000 from the village’s sewer utility to complete its firing range.

The total cost of fully outfitting the range is about $450,000, and, going into the meeting, police had over $300,000, including $150,000 from the City of Racine and a $75,000 grant from SC Johnson.

MPPD Chief Tim Zarzecki told Racine County Eye that members of the committee would rather the village own the range outright and make it available for other agencies to rent. He said they’re hoping the terms of the loan – assuming the sewer commission approves – would be interest free with payments over a set number of years.

The firing range was included in the design of the new village hall/police department, but wasn’t finished because of the 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.

Savings could come to $20,000 or more each year because officers won’t need to practice while they’re off-duty, which runs up overtime costs. Instead, police will be able to fit an hour of practice into their shift.

Part of the high price tag is because of the ventilation system needed to remove lead particles out of the air.

Zarzecki said the goal is to have the range pay for itself through overtime savings and rental fees.

“We want this to be sustainable without dipping into any taxpayer money,” he said.

The sewer commission is scheduled to meet again next month.

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