Brox shooting vote scheduled

MILFORD – Selectmen say they will take a vote at their next meeting on whether to adopt a rule against target shooting on the town-owned Brox property.

On Monday, April 24, they listened to both sides of the issue, including a plan from residents Chris Skinner and Tina Vallier, who said they want to organize a small group to oversee a target shooting area, with limited hours and days for shooting, as well as a promise to keep it clean.

“Tina and I would be in charge of the whole thing,” Skinner said.

Vallier said the area under consideration is a 10- to 15-minute walk from the Heron Pond Elementary School, and invited the board to check it out.

Milford police had asked the board to adopt some kind of prohibition against shooting at Brox, saying that when they get complaints, they have little legal basis on which to ask people to stop.

Hunting in season and target shooting with bows and arrows wouldn’t be affected by the rule.

Police Chief Michael Viola said the lack of restrictions against target shooting creates a gray area for enforcement. He said there is a safety issue because residents use the area for hiking, mountain biking and dog walking, and because of the nearby school.

So selectmen proposed a rule against target shooting on the entire 270 acres, though they have also indicated they might consider having one area for shooting.

“If we go down that road, we have to figure out a lot of details,” Board Chairman Mark Fougere said at the end of the board’s second public hearing on the rule Monday night.

A few residents spoke in favor of the rule, including Kevin Drew, School Board vice chairman, who said the board recently voted to support a ban.

Eric Schelberg, an abutter to the Brox property for 23 years, said he is concerned about noise.

“I don’t necessarily want to hear it every Saturday. … I want peace,” said Schelberg, who is the director of the Milford Ambulance Service.

Milford state Rep. Joelle Martin also told the board she fully supports the rule.

Kathy Cleveland can be reached at 673-3100 or kcleveland@cabinet.com.

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