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Hamilton County Officially Wants CPD Gun Range In Evendale To Close

The Hamilton County commissioners unanimously approved a resolution Thursday asking the city of Cincinnati to close its police department gun range in Evendale.

The city has been using the site since the 1940s, when Evendale donated the land to Cincinnati for the gun range. 

But now, residents and officials in Evendale and nearby Lincoln Heights and Woodlawn want the facility closed.

Evendale would like the property for economic development since it's adjacent to I-75 and across from the General Electric plant. Evendale Mayor Richard Finan said the land could be worth $100,000 per acre.

Other residents said they are tired of the almost daily sound of gunfire and the environmental impacts of the lead on the site from shooting.

"The board of commissioners of Hamilton County fully endorse and support uniting efforts with the city of Cincinnati and surrounding communities to close the gun range for the safety and health of the citizens," read the commission's resolution. "The board of commissioners will work harmoniously with aforementioned entities to stop the gun fire as expeditiously as possible."

Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas presented the resolution for the board's consideration.

"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood; do you want to be my neighbor?" Summerow Dumas said. "And I'm sure for many years the answer was no because of this gun range."

Lincoln Heights Mayor Ruby Kinsey-Mumphrey told the commissioner enough is enough.

"Our residents have just had enough of the injustice of the shooting range," Kinsey-Mumphrey said. "Listening to the sounds from the time the children wake up, 'til the time they go to school and play out for recess, and when they come home and try to do their homework listening to the gun sounds; and when they go to bed still listening to it when they would have a late night shooting."

Woodlawn Mayor Brian Poole also said children do not deserve to hear that, saying it is not good for them.

"It is not good for them; it is not good for anybody," Poole said.

A Cincinnati council committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing about the environmental impact of the gun range Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.

Cincinnati officials have said they are not opposed to closing the Evendale gun range and selling the property.  But the city wants help finding a new location for it and money to construct a new facility.  That comes with a price of $5-9 million.

Mayor John Cranley said at a council meeting Sept. 16 that the purchase offer for the gun range site has been in Evendale's corner for a long time.

"I want it to be clear to everybody that we are more than willing to sell the gun range if Evendale is willing to move it," Cranley said. "And frankly, we'd be willing to move on price, but what we can't move on is having an alternative location that they help pay for and secure to protect our police department."

Commission President Denise Driehaus has proposed the county and the city work together to expand the county sheriff's department's gun range in Colerain Township.  She said federal authorities could also use such a facility, and U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown had indicated federal money may be available for such a project.

However, in a report, Cincinnati's interim city manager expressed concern about moving city police to the county range. The report indicated the county has been receiving noise complaints from nearby neighbors and adding city police to the site would only exacerbate the problem.

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