Friday, January 18, 2013
By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE
TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. — The Town Board has approved a notification plan that it hopes will give neighbors within earshot of a police firing range on Ulster Landing Road some relief from the noise of weapons training there.
At a board meeting Thursday night, town Supervisor James Quigley said an effort was made to address the concerns of residents who complained about the firing range at the Ulster Fire/Rescue Training Center.
“The police department visited with several of the more vocal neighbors, explained to them the steps that they were taking, and they appeared to be satisfied,” Quigley said.
“The true test will come in the summertime, when the windows are open,” Quigley said. “When the range use is in progress at that time, we’ll see.”
Under the notification plan, use of the range will be reduced from 160 days to about 110 days per year. Range hours will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays most of the year, but there will be training from noon to 8 p.m. on some days from October through December.
Also, Quigley said, “we have reduced the number of agencies that will participate at the range from nine to six.”
Agencies no longer training at the range will be the Saugerties and Olive police departments and the state Unified Court System.
The town still will schedule range time for its own police, the city of Kingston police, the Ulster County Law Enforcement Academy, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office, the county Probation Department and the state Department of Environmental Conservation police.
Scheduling for use of the range will be posted on the town Police Department website, and residents will be asked to call if shooting is heard at other times.
Town officials developed the notification plan after receiving complaints in November from resident Stewart Dean, who lives near the range and played a recording that demonstrated that several dozen shots per minute could be heard by neighbors.
Plans for the Ulster Fire/Rescue Training Center were accepted by the Town Board on Oct. 26, 1990 without any reference to police use. References to the police weapons practice facility on Ulster Landing Road did not appear in Town Board minutes until Feb. 3, 1997, with a note about use by other agencies.