Proposed gun range site source of controversy - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Proposed gun range site source of controversy

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DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) -

A proposed gun range site in Dubuque County has many nearby residents concerned.

The proposed site would be between Millville and Girl Scout Roads near Graf.  The site is within eye shot of a number of farms, and cattle can be seen grazing in many nearby fields.

The site was purchased last year by the Dubuque Drug Task Force for $666,000.  It was paid for with money and property seized during investigations.  Law enforcement officials currently use a rented quarry for their range, but have to depend on the quarry's owner for access.

The site would only be accessible for law enforcement, and the initial proposal calls for between 80-100 days of usage a year.

Wray Childers is one of those people concerned about the site.  He was in the area today checking out a potential bald eagle's nest.  He said the sounds from the gun range could cause the eagles to abandon their nests, and potentially limit their chances of reproduction.

He is also worried, as are many other neighbors, about the livestock in the surrounding area.

"Noises such as firearm discharges can upset cattle to the point to affect their breeding habits, eating habits, and so on," Childers said.  He also said he's seen spooked cattle run through brand new barbed wire fence, so the noises of gunfire really concern him.

He also cited the nearby Heritage Trail as a source of concern.

"If a family's out there riding their bikes with their small children, the sudden impacts, sudden noises the firearm makes could unnerve people using the trail," he said.

The Dubuque County Zoning Board inspected the site Wednesday ahead of their public hearing next week.

The hearing is set for Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. at the Emergency Services Training Facility, 14928 Public Safety Way.

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