DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: After more than a year of debate on the subject, the new firearms by-law was passed by Uxbridge councillors this week with a vote of 6-1.
The matter, which had consumed a great deal of council's attention over the past year, sought to alter the hours of operation at Uxbridge Shooting Sports, located on Conc. 4, as well as limit the amount of noise coming from the property.
The matter was to be dealt with at council's meeting on June 23, but Regional Councillor Jack Ballinger was successful in his bid for additional time to investigate the matter before it was brought back before council at their meeting on the morning of Monday, July 14.
"I must admit that it is noisy," commented Councillor Ballinger. "It's a lot noisier than I every thought. I was hung up on the decibel levels and licensing."
Throughout the debate on the matter, Councillor Ballinger frequently commented about wanting to keep Uxbridge Shooting Sports viable and functional as it has been since being established on Conc. 4 in 1965.
""If the club will survive another 50 years, they'll have to do their due diligence," added Councillor Ballinger. "I would not want to live there with that noise. I hope that by next year that are safeguards in place to reduce the noise."
Ward 2 Councillor Pat Molloy also thought that the club will be able to meet the goal of 60 decibels emanating from the site by the deadline of Aug. 31 of next year. Another sound study will be done at the site next year to ensure compliance with the by-law, paid for by Uxbridge Shooting Sports. Township staff will review the situation next year to ensure its meeting all of the requirements of the by-law as well as reviewing any work done on sound buffering.
"There's no doubt in my mind that the gun club can achieve those goals," said Councillor Molloy. "I hope they can stay and prosper at that location for another 50 years."
In a recorded vote, all councillors except for Ward 4's Jacob Mantle voted in favour of the by-law. Councillor Mantle would later take to Twitter to voice his frustrations with what he saw as a far-reaching by-law.
"Voted against insane Shooting Range By-Law. Only one to vote no, interesting that I am the only councillor not running again... #election," Councillor Mantle said on the social networking web site.
Mayor Gerri Lynn O'Connor noted that the by-law process had been long and left many feeling frustrated at times, but thanked everyone involved once the by-law was finally passed.
"This was a long and arduous process, and I would personally like to offer my thanks to all that took part," commented Mayor O'Connor.