The Riley County Commission on Thursday approved buying 170 acres of an old dump for a new shooting range for the Riley County Police Department.

The $374,000 acquisition from Tarkio CD Disposal puts to bed the county’s difficulties over the past five years to find a new site for the range.

The site of the land, near the intersection of Zeandale and Tabor Valley roads, is also adjacent to the current firing range, Clancy Holeman, county counselor, said. The new site is directly north of the current range.

“It gives us more property, since the current site is about 90 acres,” Holeman said. “We’re leaving the current lease in place while the new site is made ready, whenever that happens. We anticipate it might be close to the end of the term of the lease (on the current range), but it just depends on the weather.”

The new property is described as a closed construction and demolition landfill in the purchase agreement.

The county had pursued several options, including keeping its current range, which it has leased for the past 25 years. In November, the county had considered using eminent domain to force the current range’s land owner to sell the land, but opted instead to push off any action by extending the lease through June 30, 2020.

In May, the commission approved $1.5 million in funding for the range, but that funding did not include any specific land purchases or construction costs.

Education reporter for the Manhattan Mercury. Follow me on Twitter at @byRafaelGarcia.