Saturday February 13th, 2016 3:58AM

Powell wants Hall Co. Commission to regulate gun ranges

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - After hearing a complaint from a resident in his district, Hall County Commissioner Billy Powell said he thinks it's time for the commission to regulate gun ranges in the county.

Speaking at Monday afternoon's work session, Powell said he is not "anti-gun," but he thinks gun ranges on private property could be a safety issue.

"I had a complaint from a resident in my district [District 2] who said that there is a gun range next door to them and that they had actually been close to a stray bullet that hit a telephone pole when the husband was out walking the dog," said Powell.

He said when he asked a county marshal to investigate, they found the gun range.

"We don't have anything in our ordinance or zoning laws that say 'here's how you can operate a gun range.'"

Powell, who did not specify the exact location of the facility, said the range was more than just a back yard area for target shooting.

"It's more than just target practice," he said. "They're actually inviting people in and shooting guns. We don't have any regulations as far as the size of the property or setback from the neighbor, the construction of the berm that is the backstop."

Powell requested county planners and business license officers to formulate an ordinance that can be presented at a future public hearing. He said that process would take anywhere from 60 to 90 days.

Commissioners will accept higher bid for E-911 system upgrade

Cheaper is not always better, especially when it comes to buying new equipment for Hall County's E-911 recording system, according to Assistant Hall County Administrator Marty Nix.

Hall County Commissioners reviewed bids at their Monday work session for a Next Generation E-911 Ready Recording System and opted to purchase a plan from a company whose bid was $7,741 dollars higher than the low bidder.

Purchasing Director Tim Sims explained to commissioners that his research turned up two negative recommendations on the low bidder for the project. In addition, he said the low bidder misrepresented the services they could offer Hall County.

Nix said when it comes to emergency response, the county wants to make sure citizens receive the best service possible.

"Especially with the 911 systems, we're very conscious, wanting to make sure that the equipment has redundancies and that it is up to date. We don't want that type system to fail in any way," said Nix.

He said the higher price tag is worth the additional dollars.

"When you go through this want to know that you'll have the maintenance, that you'll have the staff to maintain that equipment and that there are certain guidelines that they [the bidder] must meet," said Nix.

When they meet Thursday, commissioners are expected to approve a $61,837 bid for a Higher Ground recording system from DECA-ARM.

NOTE: The regular meeting of the Hall County Commission is Thursday, April 24 at 6 p.m. at the Hall County Government Center on Brown's Bridge Road in Gainesville.

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