By Tracy Ouellette

SLN Staff

After another lengthy debate, the East Troy Village Board voted 5-2 to move forward with the grant application to build an archery range in the village, but only under the condition that it would not be located on Village Hall property.

The board members listened to several concerned residents, parents and local business owners who said they didn’t support the range going in on the proposed Village Hall location, which is behind Bright Beginnings Day Care.

One parent of children who attend the daycare center said if the range went in, he wouldn’t take his kids there anymore. And another resident likened it to putting an archery range in someone’s backyard.

The center’s owner, Cheryl Berg, again voiced her concerns about the unsupervised, open-air archery range and how it would affect her business.

Berg said she had met with the engineers and village Trustee Dusty Stanford and they showed her all the modifications and additions that were made to the plans to make sure it was safe for her business.

Berg said she appreciated the effort they went through to make it safer, “But perception is the issue. The only thing people hear is there is an archery range behind the daycare. People are telling me they still have concerns. We still cannot support an archery range behind us.”

Berg told the board an archery range in the proposed location would put her daycare center at serious risk of closing.

Several board members also voiced their concerns about the range and its proposed location.

Trustee Ann Zess, who has stated many times she didn’t like the Village Hall location, said she would only vote for the ordinance change, which would allow for the grant process to move forward, if it was stated that the archery range would not be located on Village Hall land.

Trustees Linda Kaplan and Scott Seager agreed with Zess and said that was the only way they would vote for moving the project forward.

Trustee Dusty Stanford, who has been the driving force behind the range, again brought up the safety record of archery ranges in the state and in the sport in general.

Stanford said being a father of six, he would never put any child at risk and he felt the range was safe to put in behind the daycare center.

Stanford said they were also looking at alternative sites for the range but the grant application had to go in with an address and while the range might be moved, either further back on Village Hall property or to a different site entirely, it was still possible it would be built on the spot behind the daycare center. He again reiterated the safety of the range even if it was built there.

“Dusty, why don’t we put your address on it?” Seager asked. “It’s ridiculous. Let’s get off this bandwagon that it’s safe. We have people here saying they don’t feel safe.”

Seager also reminded Stanford that he was in favor of an archery range in the village, just not on Village Hall property.

“For that half a percent chance that something could go wrong, I’ m not willing to risk a child’s life for that,” Seager said.

Zess put forth a motion to approve the ordinance change and move forward with the grant application process but have the wording changed to say the range could not be built on Village Hall land.

The board voted 5-2 in favor of the motion, with Zess, Seager, Douglass, Renucci and Kaplan voting yes and Timms and Stanford voting no.


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