Griswold residents have new ammunition in their fight against a gun range

New London

Residents in Griswold now have new ammunition in their fight against a state police gun range proposed for a 113 acre site off of Lee Road.

In June the state conducted noise tests as part of an environmental impact study.

“It’s not decibels,” said Griswold resident Sharon Viadella. “It’s the pop pop we’re going to hear all the time. Steady pop pop pops.”

Viadella is one of the closest residents living 6 tenths of a mile from the site surrounded by the Pachaug State Forest. She and resident Pam Patalano will make an announcement to residents who will be meeting at what is known as the old Pachaug Town Hall at 6:30 tonight to discuss a new phase in their fight.

They have retained the services of an attorney who may be a familiar face from this summer’s political season.

“The attorney Tim Herbst will be representing us,” said Patalano.

The former gubernatorial candidate is a land use attorney with Cohen & Wolf out of their Orange office.

Herbst has issued the following statement:
“The law firm of Cohen and Wolf, P.C., has been retained to represent residents who are opposing the proposed installation of the State Police Gun Range in Pachaug State Forest.  I cannot underscore how bad this proposal is on so many levels.  It is inappropriate to place this type of facility in a state forest that speaks to the beauty of Connecticut.  More importantly, this misguided proposal is intended to create a facility that will serve the 900 plus sworn men and women of the Connecticut State Police in one of the most remote and isolated areas of the state.  This facility should be more centrally located and easier to access for all State troopers to properly train.  Further, there are many questions surrounding the propriety of this acquisition and the fact that the State of Connecticut is prepared to pay exorbitant amounts of money well over the appraised value of this parcel.  We are absolutely committed to vigorously representing the interests of our clients in defeating this proposal.”

“We’re residents and we don’t have the skill set to understand everything so it’s good to have legal representation to be able to interpret all of that,” said Patalano. “So we’re pretty excited about it.”

They question the entire process.

“The environmental impact study and the purchase and sale agreement all of those need to be looked very closely at,” said Patalano.

“And there’s more than one attorney coming,” added Viadella. “There’s going to be another attorney coming from a different angle with a different group.”

The state is hoping to replace its gun range in Simsbury which floods each year and has said actual shooting would take place two hours a day in Griswold.

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