Although the vote was almost unanimous, the Board of Supervisors’ decision to construct a new indoor shooting range for law enforcement training sparked strong words during a Wednesday night public hearing.
Supervisor Eugene Delguadio (R-Sterling) took one last opportunity to register his discontent with the new range, which he says is too expensive at $21.3 million.
“My no vote is not against the staff work, not against the concept of target practice, not against the improvement on the skills and the morale of the deputies, it is simply a budget consideration,” Delgaudio said.
He said he has always felt there was a better private alternative, calling Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) his “foil” on the issue and criticized Buona’s support for the project.
“It’s nice of you to call me out there, Mr. Delguadio, but I have a suggestion for you: Do what I did,” Buona retorted. “I actually went out to the firing range with the sheriff.”
Buona described the current training center as too small, exposed to the weather, and dangerously close to Dulles Airport. He said public safety should be a top priority.
“I’m going to back our public safety officials,” Buona said. “If you’re not willing to do that, and you don’t want them trained, then shame on you.”
“I don’t see a private option,” agreed County Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large.) “I just don’t see it out there.
The board voted 7-1-1 to permit the the new range, Delguadio opposed and Kenneth D. Reid (R-Leesburg) absent.
The next step for the project will be site plan review. The range will be located along Shreve Mill Road south of Leesburg.