El Dorado gun range to open soon, homeowner upset about noise

Local

It’s being called the premier outdoor shooting range in the area.

The new gun range at the El Dorado State Park is set to open at the end of September but not everyone is excited about it.

“It is beautiful out,” says Kevin Johnson. “Air is comfortable. Humidity is gone. Feels pretty good.”

It was a front porch swinging, windows open kind of day. You’ll find Kevin Johnson on his porch waiting for the hummingbirds. Something he worries he soon won’t get to do anymore.

“It will be a disaster out there,” he says. “It will be a nightmare in my opinion.”

How close is too close?

“The was just simply the best location we had,” says El Dorado State Park Manager.

Tell that to Johnson.

“Why didn’t they change the direction down closer to the corps of engineers? Which what I asked them to do…which was another quarter of mile away from my place.”

Johnson staked a sign in his front yard that reads “How close is too close?” Pointing toward to the gun range he can see from his home.

“I think it is going to be very annoying,” says Johnson.

Park Ranger Seth Turner says they are hoping to have the multi-million dollar range open by the end of September. Turner admits, he and Johnson spoke several years ago, and he says he tried his best to deal with the noise, even hiring a sound engineer to design a way to mitigate the noise issue and design the roof so the sounds go away from Johnson’s home.

“Most of the sound will go back into the secondary dam and the concrete walls help contain the sound in,” says Turner.

“Yeah that’s theory. That is what he says. That is what they say,” says Johnson.

But Turner says it’s not a theory. He says the state did extensive testing when it came to sound.

“We had measurements from passing airplanes. We had measurements from boats on the lake. We had measurements from the vehicles, full sized picks-up, and the loudest thing we had was a motorcycle,” says Turner.

“I will keep a close ear for the noise, and there may be issues that come up with that.”

Turner says the gun range will be open for only a few days in the week between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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