The sound of gunfire is one concern of some residents in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, who want to stop a military-style training facility from moving to their community. But owners of the company say their business will contribute to the county's economy.
Crucible provides training on weapons, combat and security to people who work for the U.S. government, NGOs and other companies that require them to live in or travel to dangerous locations, the company says on its website. The complex has been in a secluded area of nearby Stafford County for about 20 years, but owners want to expand and relocate to a 70 acre property just off of Interstate 95 in Thornburg, Virginia.
"Our move to Spotsylvania will help us improve what we do by having a purpose-built state of the art facility," Crucible President John Garman said.
But not far from what's known as the Thornburg interchange, signs saying "Stop Crucible" show just how residents feel about their proposed neighbor.
Residents say noise and safety are at the top of their list of concerns.
"The main concerns that I'm worried about is the sound, the noise that’s going to happen," Shirley Brady said.
Tracy Blevins said she moved back to Spotsylvania seven years ago into a new home.
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"It's just not the right fit for a community that is growing with families and small businesses," Blevins said.
"I did 20 years in the Marine Corps. I fired on many ranges and I've seen weapons malfunctions that could cause it to clear the berm," Wayne Breakfield said.
Garman said Crucible plans to create a pit for the firing range with 20-foot-high berms, which are raised barriers of ground, all the way around.
"In 20 years of shooting, we haven't had one incident," Garman said.
At Crucible's request, its rezoning application was put on hold and the company says it is reviewing its plan.