Grand Traverse Co. Delays Decision on Gun Range at Pugsley Property

Grand Traverse County leaders still haven’t made a decision about the future of a gun range on a former prison lot.

For weeks, some homeowners in Fife Lake Township have protested the proposed expansion of a firearms range at the former Pugsley Correctional Facility. The range has been a practicing space for the Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office since 2011.

On Friday, the county did not make a decision on a Brownfield Plan that would provide funds for environmental remediation and also expand the shooting area. If approved, the space could turn into a regional law enforcement training area.

The Pugsley Area Residents Conservancy says they hear incessant shots being fired and it shakes their windows, rattles their pets and disturbs their peace and quiet.

Friday, Grand Traverse County commissioners officially approved the purchase of the property from the state land bank for $1.

Chairman Rob Hentschel hopes future discussions about the property will yield a compromise for everyone involved.

“I think it’s important that our sheriff’s deputies have a place where they can practice shooting,” said Hentschel. “It’s important we have something available to our deputies we just need to figure out how we can be a good neighbor at this time.”

Chairman Hentschel says the board has no set date to revisit the issue. If they do, they may set future dates for further public hearings.