PAXTON — Long-time Alderman Bill Goben is leaving the council, but he urged the remaining aldermen to look into the possible use of the city's shooting range for public classes and access.
Goben reminded aldermen that the Illinois Legislature is under a court decree to create a conceal-carry law for Illinois by the end of June.
He said the city could offer use of the range as a service to the many new gun owners who don't know how to use them. Goben noted that Gibson City offers use of their gun range for target practice for $5 a session and gun instruction classes for $50.
Goben referenced an email forwarded to all aldermen by Mayor Bill Ingold from a representative of its liability insurance carrier advising against the city using its shooting range that way. Goben said the council shouldn't let the insurance problem stand in the way and maybe should look for another carrier. He noted that Gibson City must carry that insurance. Comptroller Julie Burgess will ask for a premium quote to cover the range from its current carrier.
A straw poll of aldermen indicated council interest in following up the public access idea.
But Police Chief Bob Bane said he's spoken to Gibson City's police chief and learned that the city pays "a lot of overtime" to staff the range. "You don't make money," he said.