IL Representative urges governor to reopen Sparta shooting compl - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

IL Representative urges governor to reopen Sparta shooting complex

(Source: Giacomo Luca/KFVS) (Source: Giacomo Luca/KFVS)
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    (Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)(Source: Giacomo Luca, KFVS)
    A site that brings in millions of dollars, and is one of the largest revenue generators in Randolph County, Illinois, is set to close on October 1 because of the state's budget impasse.
    A site that brings in millions of dollars, and is one of the largest revenue generators in Randolph County, Illinois, is set to close on October 1 because of the state's budget impasse.
SPARTA, IL (KFVS) -

An Illinois representative is urging Governor Bruce Rauner to reopen the World Shooting and Recreational Complex.

According to Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, the state will lose more than $100,000 in revenue in October alone due to the cancellation of shooting events at the complex.

He said each participant in the SCTP championships brings on average three or more guests to the region during the shoot, which means area businesses will suffer with this latest cancellation.

Additionally, Tom Wondrash, SCTP national director, noted that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources stands to lose revenue from rental and target fees from the event.

Lynn Gipson, executive director of the American Trapshooting Association, released a summary on Wednesday, Oct. 7 on the current status of the World Shooting and Recreational Complex as it affects the 2016 Grand American.

In the summary, he said the Event Center and restaurant are open, as are the year-round vendors on the grounds.

In addition, Gipson said shoot dates and activities are being scheduled for 2016.

"Throughout the budget stalemate, the state has never indicated any plan to permanently close the facility, but unfortunately state officials are unable to give us any clear indication of when the suspension of shooting will be lifted," he said.

Planning of the Grand American by the ATA begins in the fall each year.

"The Executive Committee remains confident that the suspension of shooting at the Complex will be lifted long before the 2016 Grand American; however we believe that it is in the best interest of the Association and or Championship Tournament to have a contingency plan in place should circumstances require it to be put in motion.

"It is the opinion of our legal representatives that by suspending shooting with no indication of resumption, the state has defaulted on our Lease Agreement for the use of the facility for the Grand American. The lease provides that a defaulting party be given 60 days to remedy an alleged default. The party alleging default may extend this time period if desired.

We will be notifying the state in the next few days of their default on the agreement and will begin exploring possibly contingency options, should the need arise, for the 2016 Grand American."

Gipson said they made it clear to state officials that they feel that Sparta is their home.

He said it would "tragic" to have to move the tournament; however he said they feel like they must "take whatever steps necessary to protect their National Championship tournament, their members, their supporters and the history and traditions of this great American sport."

The shooting complex, located in Sparta, Ill., closed on Oct. 1 because of the state's budget impasse.

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