Spurwink Rod & Gun Club in Cape Elizabeth gets grant for safety improvements

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CAPE ELIZABETH — The Spurwink Rod & Gun Club has received a grant its leadership hopes will ultimately allow members to resume using live ammunition.

The club on Wednesday announced it received $10,000 from Friends of NRA. Club President Tammy Walter said the club was informed it had won the grant on July 31.

Live fire was suspended at the Sawyer Road facility July 24 by Police Chief Neil Williams after a safety evaluator declared conditions at the club unsafe.

“This grant is a major component to resumption of live fire,” Walter said. “This could not come at a better time.”

Walter said the club expects to receive the money within a week. She said she applied for the grant four months ago to help fund club improvements as part of a new licensing process with the town.

Although the club has existed for more than 60 years, it must register and obtain a license under an ordinance enacted in early 2014.

“We look forward to the day when the club can re-open to continue its many good works and be a source of pride for the community,” Walter said.

Walter said the money will be used to erect a concrete wall and to add more ballistic sand and vegetation cover.

“With this generous grant and the continuing efforts of the club membership, the Spurwink Rod & Gun Club can continue to enhance the safety of our club through shot containment,” she said.

Former President Mark Mayone said club members have been patient and respectful while live fire has been suspended. He said the residents in the nearby Cross Hill neighborhood, who have filed noise and safety complaints against the club, have continued working against the club.

“Our anti-club neighbors are putting intense pressure on local and state officials to find a reason to close us,” he said. “Our gun-hating neighbors underestimate our will to survive.”

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

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The Spurwink Rod and Gun Club in Cape Elizabeth was informed July 24 that it must cease all live fire after a town-hired safety evaluator found the range unsafe.

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.