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Local News

Yorkville City Council OKs pact to use Oswego police firing range

Yorkville Police Chief Rich Hart talks during the City Council regular meeting Tuesday, June 11 at City Hall, 800 Game Farm Road.
Yorkville Police Chief Rich Hart talks during the City Council regular meeting Tuesday, June 11 at City Hall, 800 Game Farm Road.

YORKVILLE – Yorkville police will now be able to use the Oswego Police Department’s firing range and defensive tactics room thanks to a newly-approved agreement.

The City Council voted, 7-0, in favor of the agreement during their regular meeting Tuesday, June 11. Ward 2 Alderman Joe Plocher was absent during the meeting.

Yorkville Deputy Police Chief Ray Mikolasek said in a June 5 memo that the Yorkville Police Department doesn’t have a training location to do defensive tactics training with officers. He said in the memo Oswego police officials offered the use of the firing range as long as there are use agreements established.

“Additionally, the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office has asked us to use alternative ranges when possible to reduce the noise at the BNSF range and help them alleviate the concerns of residents in that area,” Mikolasek said in the memo, in reference to previous noise concerns about the shooting range on federal property.

The Oswego police firing range is located in the police department’s new $30 million station which opened last October at 3355 Woolley Road.

According to city documents, the agreement requires the approval of City Council and for Yorkville Police Department to have proof of liability and insurance policies.

Yorkville Police Chief Rich Hart said there would be no cost for Yorkville police officials to make use of the Oswego department’s firing range. He said that isn’t anything out of the ordinary to have those types of agreements with other departments for training purposes.

“A lot of times we share services between different agencies,” Hart said.

When asked if the city received any comments regarding the proposal in light of past residential complaints regarding shooting range-related noise complaints, Purcell said he could only speak to the city’s stance on the matter.

“The chief recommended it and was something that he felt was good for our police department, so we’re going to support the chief on that,” Purcell said.

The proposed agreement comes after Plano police officials brought a similar agreement with the Oswego Police Department before their City Council. There was no action from Plano City Council taken on the agreement but the matter is expected to be brought up again at a future meeting.

Tobacco code amendment

In other business, the City Council also voted, 7-0, to approve an amendment to the city’s tobacco code.

City Administrator Bart Olson said the change is meant for the city to be compliant with new state tobacco regulations, including raising the legal age to 21 to buy or sell tobacco products, as well as electronic cigarettes and alternative nicotine products.

“We do enforcement stings every once in a while, and in order to do that, we need to change the law,” Olson said.

Olson said staff also proposed to implement an annual licensing requirement for tobacco licenses, which would run concurrent with liquor license renewals. He said staff isn’t always aware if a business stops selling tobacco products with the current licensing process, which is a one-time fee of $50 without an expiration date.

“We changed that to an annual renewal fee just so we at least know which entities in town currently sell tobacco,” Olson said.

City documents said the reason for the proposal was because 13 out of the 15 businesses that have tobacco licenses through the city also have liquor licenses.

The two exceptions are Country Tobacco, 1427 Cannonball Trail, and Mr. Tobacco, 1935 S. Bridge St.

According to city documents, city staff proposed to implement an initial application fee of $50 with a nominal annual renewal fee of $5. Staff will send notice of the revised tobacco regulations to all businesses that hold those licenses following the council’s vote of approval.

The state regulations go into effect July 1.

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