City considers indoor shooting range
Facility may open in Clintonville
By Bert Lehman
The first hurdle to opening an indoor shooting range in Clintonville was overcome when the Plan Commission amended an ordinance to allow a range in the Industrial District.
The ordinance was amended at a Nov. 30 Plan Commission meeting.
Prior to the vote, Caz Muske, deputy city administrator and Public Works director, said the Oestreich family purchased the property at 100 Paulina Street, and were looking to expand their business.
“They’re essentially wanting to look at having an indoor shooting range on this parcel, which is zoned Industrial-1,” Muske said. “They have the ability to do all but shoot weapons, so what I’m looking to do, to see if the Plan Commission is open to the idea of putting a conditional use for recreation use within I-1.”
Muske said she’d prefer it be a conditional use for this parcel.
Wayne Oestreich, owner of Specialized Products, said the property previously housed Murphy Concrete, and has been vacant for more than 20 years. He said his family purchased the property last spring.
Initially, Oestreich said he did not know what to do with the property. His family initially wanted to purchase the property to even some property boundary lines.
Cleanup of the property consisted of hauling more than 50 truckloads of concrete, brush and trees, which provided better access to the building on the property, Oestreich said.
“We took a good look at the building and found out it was in a lot better shape than what we thought it was,” Oestreich said. “We were actually thinking of tearing it down. So, we decided to fix the building up a little bit.”
New siding and a new roof were put on the building. A new addition to the building is also being planned, he said.
Law enforcement contacted
Oestreich said the Clintonville Police Department and Waupaca County SWAT were offered use of the building.
He added that he has always wanted a shooting range in the area. Recently he built an outdoor shooting range on 80-acres of land he owns east of Clintonville.
Discussions on how to set up an indoor shooting range have been conducted with Clintonville Police Chief Craig Freitag, Oestreich said.
“We think it would make an excellent training facility,” Oestreich said.
He added that his family has spent more money on upgrading the property than it paid for the property. More money will need to be spent to turn the building into an indoor shooting range if the city allows them to do that.
Shooting range info
Oestreich said there are three types of shooting ranges that they are considering for the building. A standard range with a target retrieval system, a digital range, and a container range.
He described a container range as basically a “shipping container.”
“You order one of these things. They bring it in and set it down, plug it in, and it works,” Oestreich said. “Everything is in it, air conditioning, ventilation, everything is right there.”
The existing building on the property can hold five shooting lanes, he said.
The average cost of a lane is $35,000-$40,000. A container for a container range costs around $130,000.
Regarding safety, Oestreich said there are a lot of rules, regulations and codes to follow.
“We think there’s a good use for it. We think it would make a good training center for the police department (and) the SWAT team.
Waupaca County as a whole I think this is an opportunity and I think it would be good for the city of Clintonville,” Oestreich said.
Plan Commissioner Rusty Mitchell asked if the shooting range would be open to the public.
Oestreich said there would probably be a membership available to the public. This would include background checks on all applicants.
Mayor Rich Beggs said he toured the property and the building looks to be appropriate for the use Oestreich is requesting. He said a shooting range could bring visitors to Clintonville for police department training and shooting competitions.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity, something entirely different than what Clintonville has,” Beggs said. “If we can make this happen, I sure would like to see it.”