WATERLOO, Iowa --- The Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office is aiming to open its new firing range by next summer.

"It's going very smoothly, very methodically," Sheriff Tony Thompson said Tuesday after the Board of Supervisors opened bids to put the mechanical systems in a pole building and buy a targeting system for the training facility being developed at the former Raymond quarry.

The supervisors voted two years ago to approve allowing the shooting range at the former quarry on Dubuque Road, abutting the Raymond city limits. BMC Aggregates is leasing the sheriff's office the 31.5-acre site for $1 for the next 50 years, with a provision to extend the lease to 99 years.

Midwest Building, of Cedar Falls, constructed the $181,000, 7,840-square-foot pole building at the training facility, which is waiting to be completed through the latest contracts.

Young Plumbing and Heating, of Waterloo, bid $34,940 on the heating and cooling system; Newton Electric, of Waterloo, bid $17,110 for the electrical work; Hovey's Plumbing, of Cedar Falls, bid $9,625 for the plumbing; and the Overhead Door Co., of Waterloo, bid $5,330 for the automatic door on the building.

Action Target, of Provo, Utah, bid $75,770 for the firing range targeting system.

"It makes them turn, it makes them move," Thompson explained.

The combined $142,775 in bids Tuesday was below the $154,000 estimate for the work. Those bids will be reviewed by the Sheriff's Office before returning to the supervisors for acceptance and contract approval.

"All of this is coming from the inmate room and board fund," Thompson said. "There's no tax-based funding going into this."

Thompson, noting his deputies need a place to practice shooting, pushed for the project two years ago despite some objections from neighboring property owners and a grade school. Thompson said the quarry option was more cost effective than buying land and building at another location.

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