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Would the City of Decorah face a hurdle if it tries to sell the Fox & Coon Club property?

Posted: Tue, Jul 21, 2020 8:25 AM
Photo courtesy of Beacon Software

The Decorah City Council holds a public hearing in two weeks on bids on the private purchase of the Fox & Coon Club property owned by the city near the Highways 9 & 52 intersection.

There's been discussion among city council members about whether the sale of the property is a wise step, with council member Andy Carlson saying he would like to know how the money raised by the sale of the property would be used and council member Johanna Bergan saying she would like to see a citywide facility master plan before approving the sale of the property.

Now comes word that there may be another complication to the sale of the property. has received a copy of a letter sent to a Decorah resident by the Iowa DNR which discusses steps which might have to be taken before the current property, which is used as a shooting range, can be sold.

"Once a shooting range is closed, it becomes a potential hazardous waste site and Iowa DNR regulations require the range operator to complete an environmental assessment of the shooting range," says the letter.  The results of that environmental assessment would determine which—if any—remedial actions would be required before the property could be sold.

The letter concludes, "Shooting ranges can be very complicated and expensive sites to clean up and no development can take place on the site until the remedial efforts are completed."