Cape Elizabeth panel: Gun club paperwork incomplete

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CAPE ELIZABETH — The firing range committee has rejected the Spurwink Rod and Gun Club’s license application as incomplete.

The committee on May 4 reviewed the Sawyer Road club’s application and found seven of the approximately 50 items missing or not explained in enough detail. The club now has until June 1 to fix the application and resubmit it.

The club submitted its application April 6, four days ahead of a deadline. Applying for a license and registering the club is required under a town ordinance enacted in early 2014.

Club President Tammy Walter said she understands why the committee denied the application for now.

“I think (the application) was incomplete,” Walter said. “I’m OK with the firing range committee’s suggestions.”

Walter said she believes, however, that the club completed the application to the best of its ability.

“We had nothing to go by,” she said. “Now that we have better direction, I think we can do a better job.”

Town Councilor Jim Walsh, a committee member, told former club President Mark Mayone, who is also a member of the firing range committee, that the application must be more detailed and include more proof that requirements have been met.

“What I need here is more justification, and more professional justification,” Walsh said.

One of the things found missing was a copy of the deed to the club’s land. Mayone said the club owns the land and that the club appointed him its representative.

But Walsh and the committee chairwoman, Councilor Caitlin Jordan, said they want to see the deed, as well as minutes from the meeting where Mayone was given that responsibility.

The committee also said it wants more detailed descriptions of the types of firearms and ammunition being used at the club, and Walsh said he wants more information about studies the club has had performed, including a noise contour study.

“You’ve got to give us something more substantive,” he said. “I would encourage you to expound on the things you’ve been telling us you’ve been doing.”

The club also must submit proof of liability insurance, with language holding the town, its employees, and elected officials harmless if anyone sues the club.

Mayone expressed irritation about things he said shouldn’t be part of the application, including a requirement that a map of the club must show all dwellings within 2,640 feet. The club has a site plan showing the homes in the nearby Cross Hill neighborhood, but didn’t submit it as a part of the application, he said, because the club existed before the homes were built.

The final part of the application is a professional safety evaluation the town is having done at the club. The evaluator has not yet been to the club, and although the club had its own evaluation done, Jordan said she wants to see the independent report. She said it may be five to six weeks before the evaluator can make a visit.

The firing range committee will meet again June 8 to discuss the resubmitted application, but Jordan said a recommendation won’t be made until the committee sees the safety evaluation. She said this may not happen for a few months because the safety evaluation must first be reviewed by the Town Council.

After the committee accepts the club’s completed application, it will go to the Town Council for approval.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.