GLENVILLE -- Residents spoke out Wednesday night against the town's plans for a police shooting range at the former town landfill in West Glenville.
More than 60 people attended a Town Board public hearing on the plans, and nearly 20 spoke during a pair of public hearings that lasted nearly two hours.
“I’m just afraid that the quality of life of that gorgeous piece of property will be diminished," said Donald Jefts, who lives between the proposed gun range and another property that may be developed as a fire training center. "There are probably about 30 houses near this range.”
The Town Board made no decisions on Wednesday. Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said that while Wednesday's hearings were on the "governmental nature" of the proposals, there will be at least one more hearing on the potential environmental impacts.
The town Police Department doesn't now have its own firing range, and is seeking one at the 77-acre former landfill site on Barhydt Road as part of a larger $277,000 project that also includes the first step toward a fire training center.
Residents opposed to the project have been organizing since the plans were revealed last month. Residents' concerns include the noise from gunfire, safety and the possibility of lead contamination of the soil from spent bullets.
“It won’t fit in our area, sir, and we do not want it," said resident Krista Hawk, addressing Koetzle.
Bill Bolton, whose property borders the landfill, said other municipalities that don't have their own firing ranges don't have a problem arranging training at private clubs or at other municipal ranges.
“Our main concern is to make sure the town remains safe, the neighborhood remains safe, and that police officers receive training," Bolton said.
Not all residents, however, spoke against the project.
“I’d like to back the town of Glenville fire training center wholeheartedly," said Charlie Beers, a West Glenville assistant fire chief and certified fire arms instructor. “Stand with the men and women willing to fight for you.”
Another man said he hears gunfire now from two private gun clubs in West Glenville, and people would get used to it.
The Town Board has not established a timeline for making a decision.