State officials are revising controversial plans to construct a shooting range at the Auburn Correctional Training Facility in Sennett.
The state Department of Corrections and Community Services initially proposed to construct a roughly 3-acre, open gun range, with an estimated cost of $4.7 million, for training purposes at the state-owned facility, 3579 Franklin St.
The plan was criticized by Sennett residents and government officials, who cited concerns with the range's proximity to a neighborhood, local businesses and the proposed site for a town park. The project was temporarily postponed after neighbors voiced their concerns at a public information session in December.
As a result of the meeting, state officials will now proceed with the construction of "a smaller, indoor range facility" to accommodate the concerns of local residents, according to a DOCCS spokesperson.
The spokesperson said DOCCS is working with the state Office of General Services to begin the preliminary design phase, but could not disclose further details at this point.
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Sennett residents were notified of the new course through a letter from Daniel Martuscello, DOCCS deputy commissioner for administrative services.
Martuscello wrote that the cost of an indoor range would be maintained within the previous estimate. He added that the size decrease will result in a longer period of time to qualify facility staff, while an indoor facility comes with certain maintenance costs.
"Nevertheless, we feel that it is more important to maintain a positive relationship with the surrounding community," Martuscello wrote. "We trust that this decision will be well received by the community."
In response to the initial proposal, dozens of Sennett neighbors formed a coalition aimed to push for a project that bears zero impact on the town.
Peter Adams, Sennett supervisor, and Tom Wingfield, leader of the neighbor coalition, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.