Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has laid to rest a long controversy over land in the eastern half of Connecticut. He declared that he’s scrapping plans to build a new state police firearms training facility in the town of Griswold.
Lamont told reporters Friday that he's talking to his commissioner of emergency services and public protection, former Hartford police chief James Rovella.
"He is right now looking at alternative locations, so that we can get back to the state police and give them a very credible alternative," said Lamont.
Efforts over the past few years to identify a location for the gun range have been met by strong resistance from homeowners in Griswold and several other Connecticut towns under consideration to host the project.
During his campaign for governor, Lamont visited the proposed site in Griswold, which includes part of Pachaug State Forest, and pledged his opposition to the siting.
His remarks Friday about officially seeking an alternative were met with jubilation from local residents. And also welcomed by second district representative Joe Courtney, who has been active on the issue.
“By taking Griswold off the table, Governor Lamont has made the right call for people of this community and for eastern Connecticut," said Courtney in a statement. "I welcome his decision to take a fresh look at this issue, and in particular his focus on evaluating the use of existing ranges and facilities to augment the training needs of our state police – an approach I have called for since 2015."
The current gun range facility in Simsbury is 60 years old and has wrestled with flooding issues.