Gun club application creates controversy near Courtland

Updated: Jul. 28, 2020 at 5:45 PM CDT
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ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) — It was a full house at The Nicollet County Board of Commissioners Meeting Tuesday morning as the board took up a proposed expansion to the River Ridge Gun and Archery Club.

The club historically has been a shotgun and archery range, but its new owners have applied for pistol and rifle shooting as well.

Many showed up to voice their concerns about safety, noise and environmental impacts.

With 30+ conditions already on the books for the club, the vote passed 3-2 with the board giving the club three additional conditions.

”We’re pleased with today’s vote. It really is just another step in the process,” said Co-owner of the River Ridge Gun and Archery Club Christine Michaletz.

Additional conditions added Tuesday include a limit to .39 caliber rifles or smaller, research must be done around the property to allow or disallow black powder guns and no alcohol can be served before or during your shooting experience, only after.

Most of the opposing voices came from residents who live near the range and voiced safety concerns for themselves and animals, in this case horses, as well as the added noise that’s expected to come with big events at the club.

Michaletz says safety is their number one priority.

”Our proposed design has defined firing lines, direction of fire, we will be able to contain all the projectiles on our property, we will have the noise testing done and comply with the noise testing done and comply with the noise standards that are our parameters.”

There is not yet a time frame for noise testing, but River Ridge has consulted with an acoustic specialist that will do the independent testing. They’ve also explored options for noise mitigation.

Neighbors who opposed declined to comment to KEYC News Now.

The next meeting on the subject will be Aug. 25.

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