Red Bay, Vina agree on firing range use

Red Bay will provide police presence in Vina in exchange for use of gun range space at the industrial park.

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Red Bay Police will be able to begin improving and utilizing a portion of the Vina Industrial Park for a dedicated firing range following an agreement between Red Bay and Vina officials that will also see Red Bay provide limited police protection to Vina residents. News photo/Jason Collum

RED BAY | Details have been hammered out on an inter-operational agreement between the City of Red Bay and Town of Vina that will give Red Bay Police a new firing range training access area while providing limited police protection for Vina residents.

After several months of discussion between officials from both municipalities and working on the legal agreements necessary, The Red Bay City Council approved a resolution last week to begin patrolling inside the Vina town limits for up to 30 minutes two days per week.

“Thank you to the Town of Vina for graciously affording us the opportunity to use their firing range,” Mayor Charlene Fancher said. “We have some further development we need to do with it on things we need.”

Red Bay Police will help with improvements at the firing range, which is inside the industrial park on Hwy. 19, to meet their requirements for training and safety. Red Bay will provide a sign at the range notifying area residents when it is in use for police training and therefore closed to the public during that time.

Red Bay Police Chief Janna Jackson said Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver had pledged his support to Red Bay officers in the event a problem arose in the Vina town limits, and that his department would continue to provide coverage as it could in the area.

“They would respond with us so it wouldn’t just be us in Vina,” Jackson said.

The amount of time an officer is patrolling in Vina is not expected to have any detrimental impact on the level of police protection in Red Bay, but it will give Vina residents police protection in addition to what has been provided by the Sheriff’s Department. While patrolling in Vina, Red Bay Police Officers will have the same law enforcement authority powers as are utilized in Red Bay city limits.

Having a new local option for a firing range will be a major help to the Red Bay Police Department as officers lost access last fall to a firing range on former Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow’s property after it was closed to the public.

In other action, the Council:

  • Discussed a letter in support of the completion of the four-lane highway from Hwy. 23 in the Banner community to the Fairview community in Mississippi. Fancher thanked Councilman Brad Bolton for coordinating a recent meet-and-greet with Jeremy Martin, who is a candidate for Northern District Transportation Commissioner in Mississippi. The meeting was held with a host of area officials to gauge Martin’s support for efforts to complete the nearly nine mile stretch of highway, which would provide full four-lane access from I-22 near Fulton to I-65 in Huntsville.
  • Heard updates from Parks and Recreation Director Dean Hubbard on the splash pad, Bay Tree Park and girls youth league volleyball signups. Fancher added that the city is working on the paperwork on the grant for the splash pad, saying, “We will have met our in-kind contributions on the splash pad even before work on the basketball court begins. We did a lot of work on this ourselves; more so than we had planned.”
  • Reappointed Alan Bostick and Troy James to terms on the Alabama Mississippi Railroad Authority Board;
  • Reappointed Dr. Kristy Crandell and Pat Stamper to serve on the city’s zoning board;
  • Approved opening a checking account at CB&S Bank for the City of Red Bay Youth Volleyball Program;
  • Approved the reservation of a table at the annual Dempsey Foundation banquet, set for August 8;
  • Approved the purchase of an ad in the 2019 Distinguished Young Women Program at a cost of $250;
  • Approved a resolution authorizing the city to apply for Community Development Block Grant funds.

The next meeting of the City Council is set for Monday, July 15 at 7 p.m.