Firearms facility near White Heath a step closer to reality

Firearms facility near White Heath a step closer to reality

WHITE HEATH — A firearms training facility near White Heath is one round of yes votes away from becoming a reality.

If approved by the Piatt County Board on Wednesday, a special-use permit would allow master firearms instructor Joel Ripper to provide concealed carry handgun training at his home, located about 1 1/2 miles north of White Heath.

Earlier, the Piatt County Board of Appeals vote 4-0 in favor of the facility.

Four adjacent land owners expressed concern at the ZBA meeting about possible noise the firing range may cause, prompting the board to recommend some conditions as part of the permit. They include limiting firing at the range to no more than two days per month, firing only during daylight hours and firing no earlier than 8 a.m.

Also, the range cannot be in use while farming operations are being performed in adjacent fields.

Ripper, a DeWitt County corrections officer, already has a 7-foot-high berm on his property, and said he plans on bringing in dirt to expand its length and height. It would allow three shooters at a time at the range. The property is zoned for agriculture, so the training facility requires a special use permit.

He added the classroom portion of the concealed carry training would likely take place at the Mid Piatt Fire Protection District firehouse.

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