Noise reduction delayed at Basalt shooting range | AspenTimes.com

Noise reduction delayed at Basalt shooting range

BASALT – The Basalt town government will bite the bullet and postpone a plan to reduce noise at a state-owned shooting range this summer.

Town Manager Bill Kane said the town has canceled a contract with a firm called Noise Solutions Inc. to build three-sided enclosures around the rifle and pistol ranges. Kane said the company “wasn’t responsive” to the design concerns about the enclosures.

As a result, he said, the structures would be effective at reducing noise but they would create operational issues for shooters who use the range.

“We had to sort of back up,” Kane said, adding that the town is taking two steps backward this summer so it can make progress on the issue next year.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife in March awarded the town $114,350 for the sound mitigation project. Another $49,000 was raised by Basalt to cover the cost of the $163,000 project.

Noise Solutions Inc. was the only company to show interest in the initial bidding process. Now that the agreement has been canceled, the bidding for the project will be reopened, according to Kane. A memo from Kane to the Town Council says a bid is expected from Action Targets Inc. from Salt Lake City. The company is an “experienced range designer,” Kane’s memo said.

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The gun range is near Lake Christine, on the edge of the core area of the town. Some residents have complained for years about the noise from gunfire. They fought to reduce hours; sportsmen fought to preserve access. The Colorado Wildlife Commission approved a compromise last fall that was prepared with the help of Basalt. The closing time was reduced by two hours on weekends, leaving the hours of operation from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The wildlife commission reserved the right to restore the hours if the noise mitigation efforts are successful.

Implementing the solutions has proved difficult. The new weekend hours weren’t posted by the state wildlife division until after summer started, leading to complaints to Town Hall. Now the construction of the structure to lessen the noise will be delayed until next summer.

Kane told the Town Council this week he believes the delay will be worthwhile and result in improvements everyone will support.

scondon@aspentimes.com

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