Henderson County commissioners table plans for law enforcement training center

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Photo credit: WLOS Staff

A controversial Henderson County Law Enforcement Training Center hit yet another road block when commissioners voted Wednesday morning to put the project on hold.

The county manager had recommended the board not move forward with the project until the new sheriff takes over in December and can give input on it.

"The new sheriff should have the opportunity to determine his priority, and it's our duty as elected officials to work with him," County Manager Steve Wyatt said.

Sheriff Charles McDonald has been pushing for the new center, but he was defeated by Lowell Griffin in the primary election last week.

"I think we need to take a giant step back and erase the chalkboard," Griffin said.

Griffin said that could mean examining a lot of options.

"If we decided to move forward with something that's not a live fire situation (discharging a firearm), there is still a possibility of partnering with the Blue Ridge Community College," Griffin said.

The possible location of the new training center has been a hot button topic with many residents expressing concerns about noise and the impact on tourism.

In early April, commissioners shot down the proposal for an indoor training center and outdoor shooting range at Blue Ridge Community College.

The newly proposed site is on the two thousand block of Macedonia Road in Saluda, but commissioners said they will not move forward with that location.

Griffin said December is the earliest they would begin making plans for the law enforcement training center, but they might start making plans a little after that.