After much dispute in NH towns, work has begun on indoor gun range in Warner
WARNER — Work began Thursday on the property that will soon house New Hampshire's newest indoor gun range.
Dragonfly Ranges, owned by Eric Miller, has plans to build a 9,400 square foot indoor gun range on Warner Road just off of Exit 7 on Interstate 89.
The range will be built next to the MadgeTech Inc. facility.
Norm Carlson, the owner and president of MadgeTech, does not like the idea of having a gun range right next door to his business.
Carlson declined to comment for this article, but in the past, has said that he opposes the gun range and has even suggested that he may move his business if the range is built.
MadgeTech is not alone in having an issue with the project. The town of Hopkinton, which shares its northern edge with the area where the gun range would be built, was not initially informed of the plan to build one.
Zoning board officials in Warner determined that the range would not affect residents in Hopkinton after also saying the project would have a regional impact.
The Hopkinton select board held a public meeting for residents to comment on the then proposed gun range in May.
A bench hearing on the injunction was held June 26 in Merrimack County Superior Court and is awaiting the judge's decision.
"It's a nuisance suit. The abutter is saying things like 'Fish and Game regulation would prohibit the building of an indoor gun range,'" Miller told NH1 News on Thursday. "Once the Judge rules on the merits of the case, there really is none, so it's a delay tactic and it cannot under any circumstances stop us."
On June 19, the Warner Planning Board approved the proposed indoor gun range.
"The town of Warner has been incredibly supportive. Both the residents, the zoning board, the planning board ... all have shown a huge amount of support," Miller said.
At 7:15 a.m. Thursday morning the first tree was cut, and the trees were falling at the rate of nearly one every minute early on. Miller said that all the trees that needed to be cut should be on the ground by the end of the day Thursday.
Dragonfly Ranges has purchased the land and Miller said that while the injunction lawsuit is active, they will continue with what site work needs to be, and can be, done including clearing trees, laying gravel, and addressing drainage issues.
Miller said that the goal is to have the exterior of the building complete and water tight before winter.
At this time, Miller plans to have a soft opening for the range sometime in February or March 2018.
The indoor gun range will have a store and will provide education for people who would like it.
Miller believes that the range will be an asset to the community and invites critics of the project to look at the extent that the planning board went to to make sure all parameters were met and documented.