Connecticut State Police is trying to build a new firing range, however many towns had stated that they don’t want the facility in their town.
The current range is nearly 70 years old. Eyewitness News took an exclusive look at the range in Simsbury so troopers could show the reasons why they need a new facility.
Connecticut State Police Lt. Robert Palmer is the commanding officer at the Simsbury range. The facility that the state police have been using was built in 1948.
This year, Palmer said the only building with working plumbing was demolished this year as a result of flood damage.
“It was infested with black mold,” Palmer said.
There’s other evidence of flooding issues in the tight offices above the range.
Troopers have been trying to get a new range since the 1980s. This year, there were public meetings to gauge people thoughts on the idea of a range being built in their town.
Most people were against the idea of more traffic and unwanted noise. Some residents have even crafted petitions against the proposals.
East Windsor was already ruled out. Properties in Sprague, Griswold, Voluntown and Canterbury are still being considered, according to a spokesman with the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services, which is managing the project with state police.
While flooding is one issue, police said safety is another. When troopers are training on the pistol range, they can’t use the rifle range which is right behind it.
“A new range would give us the ability to train simultaneously on multiple ranges so it would save us time,” Palmer said.
Though there is no deadline for when the $6 million, 55,000 square foot range will be built, but a state spokesman said he hopes to narrow down the list by the end of the month.
“The sooner we get it the better,” Palmer said.
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