RANCHO CORDOVA (CBS13) — Cordova Shooting Center could close next year if the Cordova Parks and Recreation District decides not to renew its lease. Residents in support of the center and opposed to it attended a special meeting on Monday to voice their opinions.
“I’ve qualified off-duty out there for almost 30 years,” said Daniel Tobin, a retired police officer. “We need this range, the nearest other range is miles away!”
The debate came down to people supporting the gun range or supporting the pools at Hagan Park.
“You wanna talk about going to the gun range once a week, that’s adorable,” said Tom Higdon, a local swim coach in Rancho Cordova. “I’m at the pool every day, twice a day. I came here today shaking with rage and I shake here now today because this is disgusting.”
“The facility has exceeded its life cycle and replacements are needed,” said Patrick Larkin, District Administrator.
Larkin presented a PowerPoint presentation to the packed room, explaining why District staff recommended that they not renew the Cordova Shooting Center’s lease. It would cost the District an estimated $2 million in safety upgrades. But the District has concluded that the money is not worth the investment.
Cordova Shooting Center is owned by the Parks District while Marksmanship Consultants takes care of its operations. Many supporters told the board that the facility is full of memories they want to preserve.
“I hope they understand how valuable for a public resource that is,” Tobin said.
Dozens showed up to defend the gun range Monday night, but others voiced their frustration over continued repairs needed at the Hagan Park pools.
“You have sat in your chairs and done nothing,” Higdon told the board. “Quite frankly, I’m sick of it.”
“She’s on the Cordova Marlin Swim Team,” said mom Erin Wilson, referring to her 8-year-old daughter. “They’ve been without a pool for a couple of years now!”
And she says the choice should be clear: $2 million would be much better spent on a new pool.
“It’s the kids, you know, we want them to be able to swim and I think that that’s a priority,” Wilson said.
While the board has another month to make a decision, both sides made their positions clear.
“You’re gonna get more and more money into the park district,” said Edward Worley, special assistant with the NRA. “It’s gonna be a cash cow for you guys!”
“The fact that there is even the slightest chance that this pool is not top priority is ridiculous,” Higdon said.
Larkin explained the options the Board will likely consider:
- Extending the lease
- Looking for new shooting center operators
- Doing nothing
But if the range does close, Larkin explained that the land wouldn’t be sold to a developer. Instead, it would be used for a different park or recreation purpose.
The Board will make its final decision at the next board meeting on July 19th.