Fighting Albemarle Firing Range Plans - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Fighting Albemarle Firing Range Plans

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Albemarle County police aren't budging on plans for a new firing range and training facility. The proposed site is in southern Albemarle County, but those living nearby the Old Keene Landfill say the project will hurt the quality of life in their neighborhoods and they'd like to see it moved.

One of the primary concerns is noise. One suggestion would be moving the firing range indoors, to a home inside the old Hyosung Tire Plant in Scottsville.

Developer Charles Hurt bought that property in July of 2011. "I've been interested in doing a little development in Scottsville," he said.

His business, Virginia Land Company, offered to sell it to county police for use as an indoor firing range. But Albemarle police opted to continue with the project as planned.

"To repurpose an existing location or building is expensive, it's far more expensive than the outdoor range that we have designed," said Albemarle County Police Chief Steve Sellers.

If the county were to buy the Hyosung Plant at assessed value, it would cost $1.2 million. And that's before the cost of renovations, totaling far more than the current $1.3 million price tag.

"To this point, I don't think there's going to be any alternatives that are more cost-effective that are going to be able to meet our training needs that we have," said Sellers.

But the range is still in the planning phases, and police say they're open to ideas.

"I don't rule out any alternatives. I'm open minded and want to hear input," added Sellers.

If all goes as planned, county and city police will begin training in the new facility late next year. City and county police are sharing the cost of this project equally, and both will begin using it to train their officers as soon as its completed.

Sellers says that can't come soon enough for his department. Right now, officers only receive weapons training once a year - well below the national average of three times per year.

Click here to watch a video about the firing range plans.  

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