Lincoln County Board of Commissioners shifts $30,000 to shooting complex

| June 16, 2020 8:43 AM

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners earmarked $30,000 for facility upgrades at a local shooting complex June 3.

The dollars, to come from the county’s payment in lieu of taxes (PILT) fund, were set aside for members of the Lincoln County Shooting Complex in Libby to draw upon as they await grant funding. County officials expect to see the money paid back as grants are awarded.

County Commissioner Mark Peck, who represents Libby, said the funding will aid in ongoing improvement projects at the facility. The money covers the cost of cement work and shooting benches, he said.

Peck said he has avoided lobbying for increasing parks and recreation spending, but argued that requiring the Libby Rod and Gun Club to repay the amount made it a reasonable request.

“I would really like to request that we set up a separate account, and they may not even spend it, but that it’s set aside and held in the park budget and then used as they get projects and get them approved,” he said. “So it’s not just taking $30,000 and handing it off to the rod and gun club.”

Peck said that supporters of the improvements have kept upgrades relatively inexpensive through soliciting donations and convincing vendors to perform work at cost. In recent years, the facility has become a popular recreation site, he said. More than 1,000 people use the complex on a regular basis.

“It’s a great place to go,” said County Commissioner Jerry Bennett (D-2), who made the motion to set aside the money.

County commissioners toured the facility with club members in February to look at improvements to the complex, including new shooting bays.

“The shooting range … falls under the Libby park area, but we haven’t really formally invested anything,” Peck said as the board endorsed the earmark. “[The club] has used grant money and donated labor.”