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Hutchinson City Council Authorizes Up to $2.935 Million in Industrial Revenue Bonds for Indoor Firing Range


By Lucky Kidd


HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The Hutchinson City Council Tuesday authorized the issuance of up to $2.935 million in Industrial Revenue Bonds for construction of an indoor, climate-controlled firing range at the southwest corner of 17th and Faubion.

Jared Gagnebin, who with his brother Devin owns Gunbros, which will operate the range, addressed the Council on the economic impact the project will have on Hutchinson. Around half of their business comes from outside Hutchinson, and this would offer something not currently available locally with the nearest indoor shooting ranges in McPherson and Wichita.

A cost benefit study conducted by Wichita State University and submitted as part of the application indicated it would have a positive net impact on the city and other taxing entities in Reno County.

The bonds are being issued to Selwyn Development which owns the property. They would be privately placed, and this would carry the standard ten-year property tax abatement and a sales tax exemption on construction material and equipment purchases any IRB has. The city would have no responsibility or liability for these bonds.

Council member Jon Richardson, whose construction firm will build the project, abstained from voting on this matter.

The 2024 allocations of alcohol tax funds were approved by the Council. By state law one third of funds the city receives from liquor by the drink sales is allocated for drug and alcohol treatment and prevention programs.

The Boys and Girls Club of Hutchinson and Rise Up Reno will each receive $22,500, Reno County Drug Court will receive $24,500, and Big Brothers Big Sisters will receive $10,000 from the fund.

The Council approved two special event districts for upcoming events. One is for the Salt City Fest that will be held in the 500 block of North Main May 31 and June 1, and another for the Smallville Festival, which will also take place in that same block. This allows consumption of alcohol on city right of way.

The Council gave final approval for acceptance of a sculpture donated by the family of long-time bicycle enthusiast Bod Helfrich that will be placed at a new trailhead for the newly designated Bad Bobby Trail off North Plum. The Art Design Council has recommended the city accept the sculpture.

As part of her final report to the Council, interim City Manager Mary Grace Clements reported on discussions with USD 308 regarding Cleveland Street which runs on the west side of Graber Elementary School south of 17th. That street is currently one way going south, and concerns have been raised about loading and unloading of children in front of the school.

Under consideration is a plan to make Cleveland a two-way street and installing conventional traffic signals at 17th and Cleveland. This topic was also brought up at the USD 308 Board of Education meeting Monday night and is still in the discussion stages.

Tuesday’s Hutchinson City Council meeting was the final meeting for interim City Manager Mary Grace Clements, who has been serving in that role since the prior city manager was terminated just over a year ago. Enrico Villegas will become the new City Manager next week. “It’s been my honor and pleasure to step into this role to help, to represent Council and more importantly to represent the hard-working dedicated city officials and employees,” Clements told the Council.

In noting the recent upper-level leadership changes at several local organizations and at Hutchinson Community College. Clements said there is an opportunity to continue the considerable work that has taken place in the community over the past year. “There are things that are getting done, and there’s momentum being made, and every one of us has a role to play in that,” She added in her final comments to the Council at the conclusion of the meeting.