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City of Idaho Falls may not renew lease, force local archery range to relocate

The South Fork Archery Range may be forced by the City of Idaho Falls to move from its current location just east of Sandy Downs.

The archers have leased the land from the city for the past five years. But, they may be replaced by a new substation, and they are not happy about it.

“We don’t know if we have a lease agreement,” Ryan Pimentel, member of South Fork Archers, said. “We don’t know if we’re going to get a lease agreement, we don’t know if we’re going to end up moving our property.”

The lease agreement with the city ended September 30th. The archers say they sent their renewal papers, but it was not on the city council meeting agenda like they expected. However, the city says the appropriate information needed was not available in time to be placed on the agenda.

Meanwhile, the archers are worried about all of the groups who use their range.

“It’s not just the South Fork Archers members that use this,” Pimentel said. “I mean we got boy scouts that use this, we got 4-H that uses this, we got families. You come out here on any summer night, evening and there’s several families out here shooting and enjoying themselves.”

Idaho Falls Power is looking to put a substation on land in the area. In a statement, the city says the original location for that substation may not be suitable. The city also says, in their agreement with the archers, there is a 30-day out clause, meaning if the city needs the land they can give the archers 30 days to find new land for the range.

But, the archers would rather not move.

“It took us five years to get to this point,” Pimentel said. “Now, are we gonna be another five years before we can have another range?”

In that same statement, the city says they do plan on discussing an extension of the lease agreement. If approved, this will ensure that the ongoing planning for the substation does not impact the location of the archery range this season.

The archer’s lease agreement will be discussed at the next city council meeting on October 26th.

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