Barnstable County says no more federal funding should go towards machine gun range
Barnstable County Commissioners say no more federal funding should go towards building a machine gun range on Joint Base Cape Cod.
During their monthly meeting, the commissioners unanimously voted in favor of sending a letter urging U.S. Senators Warren, Markey, and Congressman Keating to block any further federal Defense or Military Construction appropriations.
“We've been on record against the project and now it's appropriate to weigh in and urge our delegation to fight any attempts to get additional funding for this project,” said commissioner Mark Forest during the commissioners’ regular meeting on Wednesday.
The letter points to documents CAI published late last month that revealed that the Massachusetts Army National Guard, which proposed the project, solicited bids from contractors to build the range — despite not yet receiving state approval.
Those bids suggest the feds would need to come up with an additional $6 million. A representative for the Guard declined to comment on the bids.
County Commissioner Ron Bergstrom said that wouldn’t be appropriate given findings from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the range could contaminate drinking water by creating a four-fold increase in ammunition and associated contaminants that get deposited on the ground above the aquifer.
“I think we're consistent with the overall opinion of most Cape Codders is that this facility is not going to be necessary and it's going to do harm to the environment,” said Bergstrom.
As a next step, commissioners said they will consider hiring a lobbyist to actively advocate against access to appropriated federal funds for the controversial project.