Letter to the Editor

Commissioners who OK’d gun range in Mt. Ayr will be remembered in next election

To Editor, Newton County Enterprise

Back in July an article was printed in the Newton County Enterprise stating “Mt. Ayr Opposes Shooting Range” 1881 Ranch, a private gun club wanting to locate in northern Newton County. On August 5, 2019 at the Commissioners Meeting two of our three commissioners voted to put out the “welcome mat” for this private club to come into our beautiful wooded neighborhood just north of Mt. Ayr.

This private club will bring nothing but constant noise from gun fire and the sounds of engines roaring on an off road track just across the woods from us from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., along with the devaluation of property, disruption of wildlife that live in the woods around us, and added traffic to already busy roads since we are only three miles from Fair Oaks Dairy and the I-65 interchange. Ours is a quiet neighborhood with many homes, children play, a school bus travels the roads surrounding this property and a church is within 7/10 tenths of a mile. Why would anyone welcome a “warzone” to their backyard! Who is thinking safety here!

On August 26, 2019 I received a letter from Senator Rick Niemeyer sharing his support of the citizens of this community and our concerns of the potential negative impact of opening a gun range in this part of Newton County. He also wrote of his concern with the Newton County Commissioners to overrule the county planning and zoning commission that ruled 5 to 2 against 1881 Ranch in allowing this land to be rezoned from agriculture to commercial.

I wish to say thank you to Senator Niemeyer and Representative Douglas Gutwein for attending the public meetings and supporting the citizens of Newton County, and to Commissioner Conrad for asking the right questions and voting NO on 1881 Ranch. It’s nice to know we have public officials that stand up for their constituents.

And, to Newton County Commissioners, Tim Drenth and Mickey Read shame on you! When this private club first wanted to come to the Lake Village area where you live, and if the petition hadn’t been rescinded I’m sure your vote would have been against 1881 Ranch. Believe me you both will be remembered come the next election.

Chris Green

Jackson Township