Barnstable Town Council Approves Land Swap to Reopen Shooting Range

CAPE COD WAVE PHOTO A Barnstable police officer at the town's shooting range before it closed in 2012.

A Barnstable police officer at the town’s shooting range before it closed in 2012.

HYANNIS – The Barnstable Town Council approved a conservation land swap last week that moves the West Barnstable Shooting Range another step closer to reopening.

The range closed in 2012 when the town’s insurance agency discovered the property’s use was not included in the town’s policy.

Town Council voted to approve removing the shooting range property from conservation lands in exchange for 17 acres on Breed’s Hill Road and 10 acres off Nye Road.

A memorandum of understanding allowing the land swap still needs to be approved by the state legislature.

The land swap was approved by the Conservation Commission last month.

Barnstable Town Manager Mark Ells recommends reopening the range in its current location to help resolve the lead contamination issue on the property.

“The advantage of keeping it a range and reopening it is that we can maintain the management of lead on the site in place,” Ells said. “We are going to clean up some of the lead and remove it from the site and going forward we would clean it up on a regular basis so that there would be no net addition of lead at the site.”

Ells said the range would be run differently than it was prior to the closure with improved safety standards with pass holders limited to residents.

Town Councilor Paul Hebert is against reopening the shooting range.

“I have to look at the residents of a particular area who may be offended by some action that has taken place,” he said.

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