Dozens of residents are planning to testify at a public hearing on Tuesday to fight against a new State Police gun range from coming into town.
Retiree Sharon Vaidella will be one of them.
“It’s just so peaceful and quiet,” said Vaidella, who owns a property near the 113-acre parcel the state is considering buying to put the range. “Three-quarters of the time all you hear are the birds chirping here.”
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Vaidella says she’s been fighting against the proposal for two years and will continue to for as long as it takes.
“It’s going to be about that constant ‘pop, pop, pop.’ We got a house here with an autistic kid. Got a house on the corner with an autism kid and two more down the street,” said Vaildella. “What are you going to do to these people with the ‘pop, pop, pop’? It’s constant.”
Neighbor Victor Jenschke told News 8 he’s lived in his home near the proposed site at Pachaug State Forest since 1979. He’s worried what impact it’ll have on his quality of life.
“I built this house because it’s quiet and I have a state forest all around me,” said Jenschke. “I have deer going through my backyard. I have eagles and I have owls I can hear at night when I have the windows open.”
Former Griswold First Selectman and current State Rep. Kevin Skulchyk says he supports law enforcement, but that this proposal costs too much and doesn’t fit in his town.
“Why are we throwing money to go and do this project in a town that doesn’t want it and where are we getting the money from?,” said Skylchyk. “Are we going to borrow from the future again, like we always do and this administration has done? It doesn’t make sense.”
Officials pointed News 8 to a website instead of answering questions or giving a statement. In 2015, state officials told News 8 that the existing 50-year old gun range in Simsbury is too small and floods every year. The state also said the range would be open weekdays for about two hours a day.
The public hearing is Tuesday at the State Legislative Office Building.