September 30, 2012
Keene is a small quiet community, neighboring areas like Scottsvillle and Esmont. Residents say a new proposed gun range could disrupt tranquility.
"I don't think it's right. I don't think it's the right kind of area to put a firing range," said resident Benjamin Meadows.
Albemarle County wants to take the former Keene Landfill and turn it into an outdoor shooting range for the county sheriff's office and police department.
"What's it going to do to the community? You're going to have noise. People don't want a lot of noise," said Meadows. "That's why they live in the county, anyway. If they want noise, they'll move to the city."
Residents worry about their property values' declining in an area where sounds of gun shots become normal. They say the sounds of gun fire will negatively impact farm life.
"Horses, cows, pigs, and sheep don't understand when there's this constant noise everyday. It's gun shots. Their instinct is to flee," said resident Paula Beazley.
Community members say the stress on the livestock could make them sterile and cause low birth rates effecting farmers.
"This is a commercial activity. It's not supposed to be in the rural area, and I think if folks could just hear us, we are the rural area and we seldom get heard," said Beazley.
"I don't think they should just put it because they got the money to put it there. You want to put the money somewhere, put it in a school. Education is worth a lot more than shooting a bullet," said Meadows.
Community members want the county to rethink the idea.