THOMSON - McDuffie County Commissioners voted Tuesday to allow the sheriff's department to set up a firearms training range in a rural area northwest of Thomson.
The 3-0 vote overturned a recommendation from the planning commission, which had opposed the special use permit.
The range will be built on about 3 acres of county-owned land off Vic Moore Road, north of Wrightsboro Road. In all, the county owns about 297 acres there.
Maj. Ronnie Williamson, who had directed the project through a series of public meetings, said the county will keep its pledge to be a good neighbor. He said he will contact representatives of hunting clubs whose members had objected to the shooting range. Williamson said the range will be built in six phases, beginning with constructing a sand barrier around it.
Dearing Mayor Sean Kelley spoke in favor of the training range. He said police officers put their lives on the line and deserve the best training available.
The county has been using the former Department of Natural Resources training range at the fish hatchery property in Dearing.