Willington residents meet with Congressman Courtney to discuss p - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Willington residents meet with Congressman Courtney to discuss proposed gun range

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)

On Thursday night, nearly 200 people gathered in Willington for a meeting to talk about keeping a proposed gun range out of their town.

Residents met with Congressman Joe Courtney on Thursday night, asking the question "why Willington?"

"It bothers me as a mother on a bunch of different levels...environmental levels, economic levels, noise levels, quality of life levels," said Cari Donaldson, of Willington, who was one of the 120 people who got a seat inside the library. Others stood in the hallway, and some had to leave the meeting because of fire regulations.

"The feedback is that this is not really a good fit for this community," Courtney said.

Courtney said in 2008, $14 million was originally authorized to update to the Connecticut National Guard gun range in East Haven. Construction costs came in below budget, so only $12 million was needed.

Courtney said his plan is to use the updated East Haven facility as the alternative location instead of the Willington proposal.

Town voters have already approved spending $100,000 to hire experts to help build a case against the project, which would be a firing range for Connecticut State Police.

Public hearings are expected to begin in February about where the range will go.

The current facility in Simsbury needs to be relocated because of flooding.

East Windsor is another town being monitored, but people there have opposed it as well.

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