SPARTA, IL (KFVS) - The Sparta World Shooting Complex in Illinois will reopen on a limited basis after a nearly seven-month-long hiatus caused by the ongoing Illinois budget impasse.
The 1,600 acre complex was completed in 2006 and has since become the site of the annual "Great American Trap Shoot", which annually pumps more than $10 million into the southern Illinois economy.
The complex officially closed in October 1, 2015 following Governor Bruce Rauner's plan to cut $420 million state-wide to close a $4 billion excess in spending beyond state revenue for the 2016 fiscal year.
Illinois representatives urged Gov. Rauner to reopen the complex back in October, arguing the state would lose more than $100,000 in revenue in that month alone due to the cancellation of shooting events at the complex.
"The Grand American is covered... and that's what I feel like was one of the largest things at stake," Amateur Trapshooting Association Executive Director Lynn Gipson said. "This is a big step in the right direction, and my hope is it's a sign that the complex will soon be back to operating how it was intended."
It was announced earlier in the year that the Grand American Trapshooting Tournament would continue to take place at the Sparta World Shooting Complex, but it remained unclear whether or not a lack of a state budget would allow the complex itself to remain open.
The complex will begin hosting ATA regular shoots again on April 23, and will host groups of organized shooters so long as they have express, written permission from state officials.
Organized groups that have signed an agreement with the WSRC and are interested in hosting an organized event should call (618)-295-2700, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. As events are approved, they will be listed on the website calendar.
IDNR representatives were unavailable for comment on Wednesday.
KFVS12 will provide more details on the announcement as they become available.