HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration sent a letter to a private property owner Tuesday in Griswold to notify him that the state will not be purchasing the 113-acre property for a Connecticut State Police gun range.
Following the governor’s decision not to seek bonding for the property, the Department of Administrative Services exercised its right to terminate the agreement and delivered this letter to Lewis Button III, notifying him that it no longer plans to purchase the property.
“We will no longer be placing the state gun range in Griswold,” Lamont said. “The state will do a complete analysis of the project and search for viable alternate locations, while ensuring the overall project is cost-efficient and produces the best results for the needs of the State Police.”
The current state police shooting range at the base of Avon Mountain floods too often, making training almost impossible. State police have said it needs to be relocated because it’s in a flood plain and the repeated flooding and mold led to the condemnation and demolition of the classroom building on the property.
Last March, the state had planned to purchase the 113 acres of private land in Griswold off Lee Road near Pachaug State Forest. It had not yet completed the environmental impact study before Lamont took office. An estimated $2.87 million in bond authorizations remain for the firearms training facility.
Proposals to build a new state police range in Willington and East Windsor haven’t officially been scrapped, but state officials turned their attention to eastern Connecticut, including Griswold, in 2016 following public hearings.
Lamont has said he’s talking to Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella and there are “dozens of existing ranges here in the state” that his administration will consider.