The city of Boise has hired a Colorado contractor to do the initial cleanup of bullets and other pollutants that have accumulated at a firing range near the end of Mountain Cove Road in the Foothills.
Metals Treatment Technologies will earn up to $49,500 to sift through the range’s dirt banks and remove as much lead as it can, city spokesman Mike Journee said. The company also will clean up shell casings and other debris.
The effort is part cleanup, part assessment, Journee said. The company also will evaluate the extent of pollution, as well as what it would take to do more thorough cleanup, to help Boise decide what to do with the site after the police department’s new range opens on Kuna Mora Road south of Boise.
“These people do this for a living, so they’ll know when they look at it — what they see coming out of the ground — as they do this kind of initial cleanup,” Journee said. “And then, they’ll be able to give us a better picture of what we need to be doing down the road, depending on what use we want.”
The range has been in existence since 1960. A fire sparked by a police officer’s bullet burned more than 22 square miles in 1996. In 2008, the city bought it from the Boise police officers’ association, a private organization.
Its end began in 2013, when the city proposed several changes, including the addition of a 360-degree shooting area and 18 100-yard shooting lanes instead of purely 50-yard shooting lanes.
Neighbors balked, predicting that the changes would lead to more noise from the range. Eventually, the city withdrew its application for the changes and bought the property on Kuna Mora Road for a new range.
Proposals for use of the old range, which is still in use, range from a trailhead to an archery range.