Controversy rises over potential new shooting range

WEST CHAZY - The Plattsburgh Rod and Gun Club recently inquired about an area in West Chazy for their new shooting range and it's got some residents up in arms.

Residents of Olena Road, in the hamlet of Sciota where the shooting range is to be located, have mounted a resistance. Their major concerns are about the amount of traffic, noise and possible lead contamination that could occur if the location is approved by the town planning board. The club is looking to move from its previous location at Woodruff Pond in Plattsbrugh, which was closed down due to lead contamination.

"It's right in our backyard. We bought the place to have peace and quiet," said Olena Road resident Joe LaForest, whose house is in front of the area the shooting range will be located. "There's a lot of open land where there's no houses or residents."

"You come out here anytime of the day and all you hear is some animals; you hear nothing, just quiet anytime and you won't hear that anymore," said resident Doug Lyon.

Lyon's concern also goes for the well-being of his children who ride their bikes up the road.

"The people coming up the road know [the kids] are going to be out there," said Lyon. "They're the people that live on the road and they respect it and go slow ... They won't play in the road anymore."

Town planning board member Robin Brunelle said if more traffic does come up Olena Road, then it will encourage the town to take better care of the "riff-raff" that already comes up there, including kids and other who drive up the road and cause trouble for the residents.

Phillip LaMarche, vice president of the Plattsburgh Rod and Gun Club, said the main reason the area was chosen is for its close proximity to Plattsburgh.

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