Delaware Shooting Range getting $6 million makeover


By D. Anthony Botkin - abotkin@civitasmedia.com



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The Delaware Shooting range along State Route 229 will be closed for $6 million in renovations through the 2017 season. The schematic shows the proposed layout of the new shooting range. The new facility will have six individual ranges for different skill levels and types of shooting. It will also have an indoor archery training center, restrooms and office space. Contributed | Ohio Department of Natural Resources


The firing lines of the Delaware Shooting Range will continue to stand empty for the 2017 season. The site is scheduled for a $6 million renovation scheduled to re-open in 2018.


D. Anthony Botkin | The Gazette

Update

Testing of the soil, ground water and wells is to begin this spring for the Delaware Wildlife Area Public Shooting Range, according to Eric Pastell, Ohio Department of Natural Resources program manager for outdoor education.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has closed the shooting range for the 2017 season to undergo a $6 million renovation.

Officials said the range, located in the northern part of the county east of U.S. 23 along State Route 229, is scheduled to re-open in 2018.

Pastell said, everything ODNR does has to be approved by the US Army Corp of Engineers. “We’re defiantly trying to keep it moving,” he said. The property is owned by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and leased by ODNR.

The existing range is located in a floodplain and has been in use for over 50 years with no evidence of lead recovery being conducted.

The Army Corp of Engineers has asked ODNR to undergo a Voluntary Action Program and have testing done on the property, said Chuck Minster, public affairs specialist for the Army Corp of Engineers.

“The Voluntary Action Program is a process,” Pastell said. “It takes a look at the impact shooting has had on the property.”

In an earlier report, Minster said ODNR had entered into an agreement with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to perform the testing. Since then The Gazette has learned the OEPA hasn’t an agreement with ODNR for testing the property.

“Ohio EPA is not testing the property since the use of munitions does not constitute a waste management activity,” Linda Amer, OEPA spokesman, said in an email. “Ohio EPA did provide ODNR with a U.S. EPA guidance document, ‘Best Management Practices for Lead Outdoor Shooting Ranges’ to help assure regulatory compliance.”

Pastell said Burgess and Niple, consultants for the project, will have the testing done on the property, but it will take time.

“Everything we do with our consultants has to be approved by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers,” Pastell said. “We just want to be a good partner with the U.S. Army Corp.”

Burgess and Niple are engineers and environmental scientists from Columbus who design and build environmental structures and facilities.

The Gazette contacted Tom Mignery of Burgess and Niple, who said he would need authorization from ODNR before he could talk about the project.

ODNR’s plans are to move the range from the frequently flooding plain it is located in now to higher ground to a 100-year flood plain. “We are moving it higher ground so we can get out of the floodplain,” Pastell said. “To give shooters more days of shooting.”

During the 2016 season ODNR reported that 8,960 shooters visited the range, a thousand more visitors than it had in 2015.

Renovation of the range will be funded through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, the Pittman-Robertson Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax and the Dingell-Johnson Act.

“These shooters are paying to have this done,” said Pastell. “We want to make sure they get their shooting range.”

Ohio Department of Natural Resources closed the Delaware Wildlife Area Public Shooting Range for the 2017 season to undergo a $6 million renovation.

Officials said the range, located in the northern part of the county east of U.S. 23 along State Route 229, is scheduled to re-open in 2018.

“This range has been here 40 years,” said Korey Brown, district manager for Wildlife District One of central Ohio. “It’s been a pretty big driver of the local economy we think, especially for Norton’s Sporting Goods down the road.” Brown said shooters using the range purchase guns, ammunition and hunting licenses at Norton’s Sporting Goods.

Norton’s is located west of US Route 23 on State Route 229 near the Delaware Wildlife area and shooting range.

In the 2016 season ODNR reported that 8,960 shooters visited the range, a thousand more visitors than it had in 2015.

Brown said the renovation of the range will be funded through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, the Pittman-Robertson Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax and the Dingell-Johnson Act. Both acts place excise taxes on the sale of hunting and fishing equipment, which is dedicated to maintain wildlife conservation.

“The money comes from the very people who use the facility,” Brown said, “Twenty years ago it was mostly hunters preparing for the season who used the range. Today I’m going to guess that it’s a more even split. There are more AR15s and more handguns, but also still the traditional shooters with shotguns and muzzle loaders.”

According to ODNR statistics, the sale of firearms has nearly tripled since 2007. Sales for firearms in 2016 were $14.5 million.

“Firearm sales have gone through the roof in the past few years,” Brown said. “We accommodate CCW instructors and also try to balance that against the everyday shooter who use the facility as well.”

Brown said the renovation of the range has been in the making for the last 4 to 5 years.

“From the conceptual to getting architects and engineers involved. Burgess and Niple did a marketing study to determine the size of the facility we should look at building based on the population in the area and the demand.”

Burgess and Niple are engineers and environmental scientists from Columbus who design and build environmental structures and facilities.

Brown said the Delaware Wildlife area encompasses 4,500 acres which the ODNR leases from the US Army Corp of Engineers. He said once parks are added to the wildlife acreage “the whole thing is like 8,500 acres.”

Before construction can begin on the new facility, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers has asked ODNR for additional data on the land. The land sits in a floodplain and has been used as a shooting range for many years without lead being recovered.

“The range has been in use for over 50 years, and there is no evidence of any lead recovery being conducted at this site,” said Chuck Minster, public affairs specialist for the Army Corp of Engineers.

“The existing range is located within the floodplain. US Army Corps of Engineers has requested ODNR to perform an assessment to identify and quantify the lead content in the area. ODNR has entered into an agreement with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to undergo the Voluntary Action Program. U.S. Army Corp of Engineers had no objection to this process.”

Minster said the assessment may take months by Ohio EPA and once the review is complete, the Army Corp and ODNR will discuss the future of the project.

The shooting range accommodates six positions for rifles, eight positions for handguns and six positions on the other side of the parking lot for hand-thrown target shooting.

“When we expand the facility it will have four hand trap shooting fields, 30 shooting positions at 100-yards, 36 positions at 50-foot pistol range, 24 positions at 25-yard range, 20 positions at the 90-meter archery range, 14 position 3-D archery walkthrough course, a permanent range master building, an indoor archery range, an office space and permanent restrooms,” Brown said.

“The restrooms will be popular with the folks because it used to be a porta-pot.”

The Delaware Shooting range along State Route 229 will be closed for $6 million in renovations through the 2017 season. The schematic shows the proposed layout of the new shooting range. The new facility will have six individual ranges for different skill levels and types of shooting. It will also have an indoor archery training center, restrooms and office space. Contributed | Ohio Department of Natural Resources
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2017/02/Delaware-Shooting-Range-PosterF-1.pdfThe Delaware Shooting range along State Route 229 will be closed for $6 million in renovations through the 2017 season. The schematic shows the proposed layout of the new shooting range. The new facility will have six individual ranges for different skill levels and types of shooting. It will also have an indoor archery training center, restrooms and office space. Contributed | Ohio Department of Natural Resources

The firing lines of the Delaware Shooting Range will continue to stand empty for the 2017 season. The site is scheduled for a $6 million renovation scheduled to re-open in 2018.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2017/02/web1_DSC_0711F-1.jpgThe firing lines of the Delaware Shooting Range will continue to stand empty for the 2017 season. The site is scheduled for a $6 million renovation scheduled to re-open in 2018. D. Anthony Botkin | The Gazette

By D. Anthony Botkin

abotkin@civitasmedia.com

Update

Testing of the soil, ground water and wells is to begin this spring for the Delaware Wildlife Area Public Shooting Range, according to Eric Pastell, Ohio Department of Natural Resources program manager for outdoor education.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has closed the shooting range for the 2017 season to undergo a $6 million renovation.

Officials said the range, located in the northern part of the county east of U.S. 23 along State Route 229, is scheduled to re-open in 2018.

Pastell said, everything ODNR does has to be approved by the US Army Corp of Engineers. “We’re defiantly trying to keep it moving,” he said. The property is owned by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and leased by ODNR.

The existing range is located in a floodplain and has been in use for over 50 years with no evidence of lead recovery being conducted.

The Army Corp of Engineers has asked ODNR to undergo a Voluntary Action Program and have testing done on the property, said Chuck Minster, public affairs specialist for the Army Corp of Engineers.

“The Voluntary Action Program is a process,” Pastell said. “It takes a look at the impact shooting has had on the property.”

In an earlier report, Minster said ODNR had entered into an agreement with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to perform the testing. Since then The Gazette has learned the OEPA hasn’t an agreement with ODNR for testing the property.

“Ohio EPA is not testing the property since the use of munitions does not constitute a waste management activity,” Linda Amer, OEPA spokesman, said in an email. “Ohio EPA did provide ODNR with a U.S. EPA guidance document, ‘Best Management Practices for Lead Outdoor Shooting Ranges’ to help assure regulatory compliance.”

Pastell said Burgess and Niple, consultants for the project, will have the testing done on the property, but it will take time.

“Everything we do with our consultants has to be approved by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers,” Pastell said. “We just want to be a good partner with the U.S. Army Corp.”

Burgess and Niple are engineers and environmental scientists from Columbus who design and build environmental structures and facilities.

The Gazette contacted Tom Mignery of Burgess and Niple, who said he would need authorization from ODNR before he could talk about the project.

ODNR’s plans are to move the range from the frequently flooding plain it is located in now to higher ground to a 100-year flood plain. “We are moving it higher ground so we can get out of the floodplain,” Pastell said. “To give shooters more days of shooting.”

During the 2016 season ODNR reported that 8,960 shooters visited the range, a thousand more visitors than it had in 2015.

Renovation of the range will be funded through the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, the Pittman-Robertson Firearms and Ammunition Excise Tax and the Dingell-Johnson Act.

“These shooters are paying to have this done,” said Pastell. “We want to make sure they get their shooting range.”

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.