More firing lanes OK'd

Commissioners approve building for pistol practice

`We've lost some business'

Waiting by shooters at Baker range prods plan for expansion

February 15, 2002|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,SUN STAFF

Carroll County's Hap Baker Firearms Facility will expand this summer, easing the delays of gun enthusiasts at the popular public shooting range near Westminster.

With increasing demand for shooting space creating one- and two-hour waits, an extra building containing eight pistol lanes will be constructed at the county-owned range at the Northern Landfill.

It should be completed by October.

It has become a popular destination for Carroll gun enthusiasts, especially in the months leading to hunting season, said Richard Soisson, Carroll's deputy director for parks and recreation.

The range's 10 shooting lanes can't accommodate the crowds, Soisson told the county commissioners at a meeting yesterday.

"I'm sure we've lost some business because people come and figure it's not worth their time to wait an hour or two for a lane," he said.

Soisson said an auxiliary building would be a perfect fit for the range because it also could house gun safety and training classes while others fire at the old range.

The commissioners reacted enthusiastically to Soisson's presentation, quickly approving his request to put $34,000 in next year's budget for the new building.

"I've received several e-mails and letters saying the range is top-notch, but some of them also mention the waits," said Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge.

Carroll residents can pay a $30 annual fee or a $5 daily fee to use the range.

Soisson estimated construction on the building would begin in July and finish by October, when hunters show up in droves to practice for deer season.

In other business yesterday, the commissioners gave Parks and Recreation Director Gary Horst permission to schedule an "E-Recycling" day for late April.

The session, to be scheduled for a Saturday morning, will allow county residents to take used computers, televisions or other electronic devices to the landfill.

The used electronics are collected and taken to plants that dismantle them and reuse the materials, he said.

E-Recycling, which collected 9 tons of used electronics in Harford County, would help save space in Carroll's landfill and guarantee the cleanest possible disposal of the equipment, Horst said.

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