Council approves indoor shooting range

By Darrell Wacker -

VANDALIA — The Vandalia City Council approved an ordinance on Tuesday that eliminates a zoning conflict at the Miami Valley Shooting Grounds (MVSG).

The shooting range at 7771 Johnson Station Rode is situated in the city’s Agriculture Zoning District which does not permit an indoor shooting range, firearms training center, or retail sales of firearms.

The conflict was discovered late last year when the range’s outdoor shooting permit was revoked by Vandalia’s Chief of Police Doug Knight.

Monday’s action creates a Planned Unit Development, or PUD, which allows non-permitted uses in a zoning district provided they don’t occupy more than 30 percent of the PUD. Council voted 5-0 to approve the ordinance.

Council Members Richard Herbst and Dave Gerhard were absent.

The shooting range would still be required to have a permit to discharge firearms from the Chief of Police. The city has been allowing the range to operate under a permit while the zoning process went forward.

Permits for indoor and outdoor shooting ranges will be separate issues which has not always been the case.

“They weren’t originally because the outdoor shooting range was already there and the indoor range was permitted under the same shooting range, or same permit, because they were just intertwined,” said City Attorney Gerald McDonald. “Now that they have been separated we would require one for the outdoor (range) and one for the outdoor (range).”

Knight denied MVSG’s outdoor range permit in November citing violations of its previous permit. That denial is currently under appeal in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.

The council also approved a three-year contract with its police sergeants and the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (OPBA). That contract will provide a 2.5 percent pay increase in each of the three years which is identical to the contract approved for officers with the OPBA in 2017.

Council also approved income tax ordinance changes to bring the city’s ordinance into agreement with House Bill 49. Those changes include allowing businesses to “opt-in” to filing their business net profit tax through the Ohio Business Gateway with a 0.5% administrative fee charged to municipalities.

Vandalia leaders believe this provision is just the beginning of the centralization of the collection of municipal income taxes through the Ohio Department of Taxation.

The city has joined a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of certain provisions of House Bill 49.

In other action, the council:

  • Approved the purchase of a mower for Cassel Hills Golf Course at a cost of $32,669.39 using the State of Ohio Cooperative Purchasing Plan.
  • Approved the purchase and installation of new equipment for three new police SUV’s from K.E. Rose at a cost of $25,215.
  • Approved a two year contract with Galls, LLC to purchase police uniforms, footwear, work gear, and duty equipment at a cost up to $26,650 for 2018. The agreement is a two-year extension of an existing agreement.
  • Approved a bid from Dale’s Auto Service for police vehicle maintenance and mechanical services at a cost of $23,500.
  • Approved a maintenance agreement renewal for the city’s connection to the Ohio Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS) at a cost of $14,880.
  • Approved the purchase of three in-car cameras for the police department’s new vehicles through the National Joint Powers Alliance purchasing program at a cost of $15,757.50.
  • Approved the replacement of exterior doors at Fire Station #2 by Raven Construction at a cost of $16,850.
  • Approved a variance at 356 Tionda Drive that allows a deck to create a 13-foot setback where a 20-foot setback is required.

The Vandalia City Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, March 5 at 7 p.m. A study session will be held immediately prior to the meeting at a time to be determined. Both meetings are open to the public.

By Darrell Wacker

Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.

Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.