City Council approves new police training area; industry expands

by Charles Gerian

The Blackwell City Council met Thursday night for a brief evening where area first responders were commended for their work in handling the bomb threat that was called into a local marijuana business during fair week.

The night also saw the council take action on approving a firing range and training area for local law enforcement.

The night began with a report from Blackwell Industrial Authority / Blackwell Economic Development Authority director Charlene Flanery who gave updates on Blackwell’s industries, noting that CFM was expanding which will create new jobs in the area as well as retaining nearly 50 jobs.

She also informed the council that CMC (formerly BOSTD in Blackwell) will be expanding soon as well.

Flanery stated that the BIA is currently gearing up for a “major” announcement.

They have also been collaborating with Blackwell Public Schools to bring aviation and aerospace to students in the form of new pathway programs.

Flanery stated that they are preparing for a “Boost Blackwell” public meeting for October 16 to gauge the community’s wants and needs for industry and direction.

The main item of business at the meeting was the approval of an amendment to the lease agreement between the Blackwell Facilities Authority and the City of Blackwell regarding the raw materials storage yard on Chrysler, the former site of a drive-in theater, and doubling the function of it for storage and for a shooting range.

A training facility was approved for the site over a decade ago but the city never moved ahead on the project- as such, all the planning and various degrees of safety precautions and approvals have already been taken care of.

The area will be surrounded in earth berms to maximize safety.

Blackwell is the only major city in Kay County without a training ground, and with their own the cost of travel to other sites for mandatory exercises and transportation of equipment will be saved.

The idea was also discussed after a certain amount of time to open the firing range to the public following a mandatory firearms safety course.