Legislative committee supports funding of reloading shed at new firing range on State Street Road
In what one county legislator called a “career project,” a plan to upgrade the firing range on State Street Road in the Town of Batavia finally has a target date in its sights.
The Genesee County Legislature’s Ways & Means Committee on Wednesday approved a resolution to transfer $11,514.63 from the Emergency Management Services training ground project to the Firing Range Upgrades Project, with the money to be used to build a shed for range users to reload their guns and for storage.
The full legislature will consider the measure on Monday.
“This project has been languishing a little bit over the years and now, as it is finalized, hopefully will provide the funds for us to move the firing range from right next to the fire training center out into the new ‘bowl’ – as I refer to it – a huge berm,” County Manager Matt Landers reported to the committee.
Landers said the primary use of the aforementioned funds is to put up a “Duro Shed-type facility where the individuals who are shooting can have something to get out of the weather and the elements, with some light when it’s dark out, and to reload their ammo and everything they need to do to shoot their gun.”
Noting that this has been in the works for about 15 years, Landers said the shed is expected to be built next spring inside the berm – closing out phase one of the project.
He said that the county’s Emergency Management department is pleased by this development as “no more shots will be fired so close to its building, which has been a concern of theirs for all this time.”
Phase two calls for erecting a more permanent structure for classroom training, potentially in 2022.
“We will evaluate phase two in the next year or so to see if we have the resources to do that,” Landers said.
Gary Maha, former Genesee County sheriff and current legislator, called it a “career project, for sure,” and said it was his understanding that the new range will allow law enforcement personnel the ability to qualify with their rifles.
“Now they can’t because the current range is not long enough,” he said, adding that shooters have to go to other places for qualification purposes.
Landers agreed, citing a resolution from 1984 that stipulates what types of firearms can be used at the location.
“There will be another resolution in the future that will allow us to use the rifle at that range. Currently, the resolution on the books excludes us from using a rifle,” he said.
The county manager credited Highway Superintendent Tim Hens and his crew for crafting an impressive range.
“The berms are all the way around it – 20-plus feet high and thick -- to allow for stray bullets to go into the berms,” he said. “It’s a very safe shooting range, but it takes time because you have to build up all of that dirt. So, they have been using fill for the past two years from different projects that have leftover dirt, transporting it and piling it up. And once it’s piled up, you have to seed it.”
Hens confirmed that the berms are 20 feet high and 60 feet wide at the base, with the range distance at 150 yards long inside the bowl and about 50 yards wide.
Photo: Overhead view of the layout on State Street Road, courtesy of Genesee County Emergency Management Services.