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Puslinch to investigate concerns about local gun range noise

Staff are purchasing two devices to measure the noise generated by the Galt Sportsmens Club and create a shooting range bylaw
One of the shooting ranges at the Galt Sportsmens Club.

PUSLINCH – The township is taking steps to investigate what some residents feel is 'noise pollution' from local gun club and its impact on some neighbouring residents. 

Councillors approved purchasing two devices to assess the noise generated by a local shooting range and create a bylaw to address resident concerns about what they call the "unbearable" noise pollution created by the club's "exponential growth" during a Puslinch council meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Several neighbours of the Galt Sportsmens Club delegated in council earlier this month asking for a shooting range bylaw to mitigate "the constant barrage of impact noise from the gun club" and the "anxiety" and "emotional distress" it causes them and their families.

Home to 1,580 members, its highest on record, the Galt Sportsmens Club is a 250-acre site with five separate outdoor shooting areas including a 20 to 200-yard outdoor rifle range and a 25 to 200-yard outdoor handgun range open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to sunset during weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. 

According to a new report, staff said it's recommended the township purchase a metre with an impulse detector capable of measuring dBAI and impulse sound levels from gunshots and a calibrator to use before and after each measurement for ongoing bylaw enforcement. 

Purchasing the equipment is estimated to cost approximately $8,800, not including the cost of potentially hiring after-hours bylaw enforcement support from a neighbouring municipality. 

A complaint protocol will be established for impacted neighbours and the Galt Sportsman Club to encourage the involvement of bylaw enforcement as "a last resort."

Staff said public engagement efforts will focus on "directly impacted residents rather than a township-wide approach" with staff available to engage in "one-on-one discussions" upon request at any stage of the bylaw development process. 

Interim CAO Courtenay Hoytfox said a survey and questionnaire have been sent out to approximately 70 of 87 properties neighbouring the club to seek feedback on the proposed bylaw. 

Questionnaire feedback is requested by May 31. 

The bylaw is set to be passed in October 2024. 

Isabel Buckmaster is the Local Journalism Initiative reporter for GuelphToday. LJI is a federally-funded program

About the Author: Isabel Buckmaster, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Isabel Buckmaster covers Wellington County under the Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada
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