NORTH OGDEN -- Braden Cook wants to create an archery range in his city, but he's already running into opposition.
The 15-year-old approached the city council recently with plans to put in an archery park in the parking lot of the city's Equestrian Park at 2675 Mountain Road. He wants to establish the park for his Eagle Scout project.
Cook said it would be a small archery range in the northeast corner of the Equestrian Park. He talked about how popular archery has gotten in the area with the addition of an archery club at North Ogden Junior High School.
Police Chief Kevin Warren said the project is a worthwhile one, but there are several issues that need to be addressed. There are no archery ranges in Weber County, so there is a need, but there are liabilities involved that the city needs to look into. Warren mentioned that a range is being built in west Ogden, but that is about 1 1/2 years out. Issues such as supervision, how materials will be stored, and safety in the area where arrows will be shot, are just a few.
Warren said the location is relatively safe and may work out, but resident Julie Anderson isn't so sure. Anderson leads the North Ogden Junior Posse and spends much time at the Equestrian Park. She worries how an archery range would affect the parking space - a space that the city just created for the park.
"I think we would be using the space at the same time and I just don't know how people could get in and out of the park," she said. She thinks the range would be popular because the next nearest range is in Layton, which would hinder space for the equestrian part of the park.
She said something possibly could be worked out, but she is frustrated that the city doesn't always communicate changes at the park with her, since she and her husband volunteer so much time to help maintain the park.
Anderson is also concerned with safety issues and how the archery range would be monitored. Warren also brought up the monitoring concern.
City Manager Ron Chandler did say that part of the park had just been cleared out for parking for the posse and arena. Chandler, the mayor and some council members suggested other parks be looked at that might be more closed off, so as not to cause any liability with passers-by.
Cook said he wants to work with the city to resolve issues, including how equipment rentals might be handled, for example.
City Councilman Brent Taylor said he is in favor of the range if all the issues can be resolved.
"I can assure you that as this process unfolds, the decision will not be rushed and will involve opportunities for input by all parties, including those who use and care for the Equestrian Park," Taylor said.
Chandler added that the city is looking at options at other parks, but nothing has been set yet.