Park Plan Criticized
I am writing to express my opposition to Oglebay’s intention to open a clay shooting facility on Point Run Road. I recently learned of this venture from residents living near the proposed site. Although I now reside in Ohio, at one point, I lived on the property adjacent to the proposed site.
As a former resident of the region and a farmer, my concerns center on the potential disruption of a quiet, agrarian/country way of life for area farmers and residents. The proposed facility will likely present challenges related to increased traffic on narrow roads, increased number of “strangers” (i.e. park patrons), and noise from shooting. The noise from the gunshots and volume of traffic activity can become disruptive to farming operations. The proposed shooting range also brings with it safety and security concerns since it is not clear how Oglebay will provide ongoing security and monitoring of the site.
The Point Run Road site does not seem to be suitable for a shooting/firing range,given the hilltop location and lack of buffer zone for noise and bullets. Although currently proposed as a “clay shooting” range, it is not clear if Oglebay will later expand the facilities to include other types of rifle shooting; thus, posing additional safety concerns for residents and farming operations.
Knowing Phil Maxwell’s keen support for introducing children to the arts/crafts, nature as well as the Hilltoppers Flying Club, it would be a more appropriate memorial to use the property for purposes in keeping with Mr. Maxwell’s passions.
Oglebay has more suitable locations for the “clay shooting” range on the park’s campus which would effectively address interests of shooting enthusiasts and tourists as well as those of local residents. I hope the Oglebay Foundation and park leadership will explore alternatives to the Point Run site for expanding patron services while still being a “good neighbor” in this region of the community.