W. L. Steve Mayew points out all the reasons a critic of the recently approved Walton County gun range was wrong in his objections.
This is a response to a letter to the editor, "County should oppose Range Project," (NWFDN Saturday, Nov. 23) by Michael Bennett, DeFuniak Springs.
A. As to Point 1. Very close proximity to U.S. Highway 331. It is 1,323.24 feet from U.S. 331 to the front gate of the range project. From the gate it is 385 feet to the closest firing point. Ground form begins a decline to the east providing added protection. All ranges will be oriented to the northeast away from U.S. 331, to where there is over 700 acres of test area. Each bay will also have side berms and a barrier may be constructed on the west boundary.
B. I believe the City of Freeport’s water well is actually South Walton Utility, Inc.’s well. Survey shows it to be 13,384.5 feet, or 2.65 miles, significantly more than 700 feet. My letter from them dated Aug. 3, 2006, is an apology for "taking so long to write," since they claim to have been in operation since 2001 (hardly new).
C. I still own land in "the area around Range Project," and there are not "several large permitted developments with thousands of homes approved." From the access road to the gate of the project to the south is a test and training area and property records show that some of it is deeded to Forever Florida. Additionally, frequent communications with General Dynamics and Eglin AFB JAG indicate they are opposing encroaching development in that area.
D. Horrific and long–term noise is debatable since both General Dynamics and Eglin continue to test and train in that area. Since the project is bounded on two of its four sides by those organization we must admit to ourselves that noise levels will not change and some small arms fire will hardly add to a "horrific level." Some people worry more about jake brakes on the trucks using Rock Hill Road.
Please, for many very good reasons approve this range project.
W. L. Steve Mayew, Woodlawn