Concerned. As some of you are aware, most are not, we have an illegal shooting range operating in the western part of our county.

This was started a few years ago with the idea you can do anything you want in rural Mahaska County. State laws require the approval of a shooting range before construction or even moving any dirt. This is code 657.9. It started small, a couple times a week and has been expanded and improved multiple times.

The law states each improvement needs to be approved by the supervisors to prevent it from getting out of control. Now we have multiple events and shooting 25 days a month. They won’t say how many shots are fired a year, but it 500,000 is in the ballpark, yes half a million shots. These shots can be heard in my house and several neighbors houses.

One neighbor took a 90 decibel reading outside and a 60db inside. Their kids can’t take a nap. This is an invasion of privacy into our homes, loss of quality of life, nuisance and property values plummet to being almost worthless. Any sale of property in the area requires a disclosure statement. It affects 15-25 households.

The range is now applying, after the fact, to get legal permission to operate in this manner. They are applying for the initial start up and all the improvements that should have been applied for in steps of improvements.

What if they went ahead and built the airport here and applied later. Airplanes take off and land a few times a day, we have 35,000 shots a weekend, including Sundays, heard inside our homes, this is much worse.

It’s not right that one parties aggression should take so much from others. This is part of what our government is for, to protect peoples quality of life, right to privacy and property values. What happened to doing the right thing by your fellow man and neighbor. Do unto others. Most people have the idea, “as long as it’s not me” it’s ok.

This isn’t the fault of the current County Board of Supervisors. Our neighborhood just recently made them aware of the law and situation. The second meeting of three for the approval of the range is Monday, April 15 at 9 a.m. at the Courthouse.

This is supposed to be for the approval of the initial construction of the range. We felt people should know this as nobody would want it happening to them. As you can see this has taken a lot from us and the neighbors. We are backed into a corner and fighting for our life and property.

Mark Doschadis

Pella