Gun club to work with neighbours on noise issues

PUSLINCH – Neville Henderson saw the writing on the wall and long ago hired an acoustical engineer to conduct a noise study at the Galt Sportsmen’s Club.

“I know the noise is there,” said Henderson, past president of the club. 

He was responding to questions posed by the Advertiser on May 10 after a delegation complained to Puslinch council on May 1 about excessive noise from the club, which offers clay targets, rifle ranges, archery, fishing, handgun targets, and an indoor shooting range on its 250-acre Gore Road property.

Henderson said there are about 1,500 club members — it’s a busy place.

But the noise averages 60 to 70 decibels, the same as a normal conversation, he said. Only sporadically does it climb over 70 decibels, “so it’s not damaging [to your ears],” he added.

“I think it’s irritating more than anything.”

Henderson said the club has spent a lot of money adding berms and trees to the property – mainly for safety and to contain spent shells – and doesn’t do much to mitigate noise, he acknowledged.

Officials conduct sound tests often, but the handheld decibel readers are notoriously not trustworthy.

“That’s why we hired an engineer,” he said. “The acoustical engineer will do the study, find the problems, and come up with solutions. It’s our objective to be below 70 decibels. I think we can do it.”

Henderson said the club spoke with neighbours.

“That fed back to the club; we’ve made some changes, but some of their requests are pretty expensive,” he said, adding that’s why the club is waiting on the sound report.

“A year ago, I got the sense we had to do this,” he said.

Henderson said the club is willing to work with neighbours, but it also has to meet the demands of its members or it will lose them.

“It’s a balance and we’re agreeable to finding a balance,” he said, adding the club might have to cut its hours to placate neighbours.

He said the Galt Sportsmen’s Club intends to delegate to Puslinch council after the noise report is finalized.