Plan Could Help Dampen Noise From Firing Range

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By: James Kinsella
Published: 07/06/12

A key step in a plan to reduce noise from the town’s firing range in West Barnstable is slated to occur Wednesday.

Town Manager Thomas K. Lynch is scheduled to hold a public hearing at 1:30 PM in the town hall hearing room in Hyannis on a proposal to convert 35.8 acres of town-owned land in West Barnstable from general municipal to conservation use.

The land is in the Bridge Creek area along Route 6A.

The conversion, should it be approved, will meet an essential condition of a plan to build a sound-deadening berm on one-third of an acre at the firing range.

Barnstable Conservation Administrator Robert Gatewood said yesterday that the state Division of Conservation Services would allow construction of the berm at the range, which is part of and would remain conservation land, following conversion of the Bridge Creek land to conservation use.In 1968,

Mr. Gatewood said, the town bought 1,100 acres of conservation land in West Barnstable – land that includes the firing range—in a partnership with the state.

Now, to alter a small section of that land by constructing a berm, Mr. Gatewood said the town needs to secure the permission of the state.

The administrator said he and the conservation commission have been interested for years in shifting the Bridge Creek land from municipal to conservation use.

This plan, he said, opens the possibility of just such a conversion.

According to Mr. Gatewood, the berm would be built with spoils from dredging projects in East Bay and in Barnstable Inner Harbor.

Barnstable Town Councilor June M. Daley of Marstons Mills, who represents West Barnstable, said yesterday that she supports the plan.

Ms. Daley said the loud noise from the range lowers the quality of life for a number of West Barnstable residents.Henry C. Farnham of West Barnstable, who formerly represented the village on the town council, said yesterday that he also supports the construction of a sound-deadening berm, having worked on the problem for years.

But Mr. Farnham said he believes that the town would be converting too much municipal land to conservation land as a requirement of the plan.

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