WATERVILLE — The Planning Board is scheduled to consider final site plans for a police firearms training range at 970 West River Road, as well as plans for a 60-unit expansion of Countryside Mobile Home Park on Monday.

The 7 p.m. meeting will be accessible to the public via a Zoom link which will be given to those who contact the city’s planning department before 5 p.m. Monday.

The Planning Board on Dec. 7 reviewed preliminary site plans for the police firearms range, a project the Waterville City Council approved. At that meeting, police Chief Joseph Massey said plans to develop a range started five or six years ago as the city looked for a suitable location. Police now train at the Winslow range but scheduling is difficult and does not meet Waterville’s training needs. Officials decided that a department as large as Waterville’s needs its own range, according to Massey.

In late 2017, the West River Road property was identified as the best location for the range as it had a natural landscape with high and steep banks, according to Massey. Over the last year, site work has included hauling in fill, he said.

In 2017, a sound pressure test was conducted at the site that showed noise levels in the range of 70 decibels. The city’s zoning ordinance allows that level of noise abutting industrial uses, but readings of only 55 decibels is allowed for areas abutting residential uses. The firearms site abuts both residential and industrial uses, according to Planning Board records.

After the sound test was conducted, berms, or raised barriers, were constructed that are 40 feet high and 30 feet wide at their bases. To further abate noise, the police department planned to add 10-foot-high HESCO barriers between lanes. Testing the noise level again after the range is constructed can confirm compliance with the city’s noise regulations or indicate the need for additional noise abatement measures, officials said.

Three people at the meeting Dec. 7 spoke in opposition to the range. Gina Turcotte and Michael Boucher, who live near the site, said they are concerned about the noise and that property values would decrease. Stu Silverstein said a solar farm would be a better use for the site.

City Planner Ann Beverage said Thursday that she does not think the board will require any changes to the plan.

In other matters, the board will consider approving preliminary and final plans by L/A Properties LLC to build a 60-unit expansion to Countryside Mobile Home Park at 457 West River Road that would include developing 60 new lots between that park and Village Green Mobile Home Park. The expansion would have street connections to West River Road and the Countryside park, at the end of Victoria Drive, according to the plans. More than 75% of the lots would be large enough for double wide mobile homes.

Dirigo Engineering is working on the project and issued a memo saying water and wastewater systems would be connected to public utilities, storm water management will include treatment in under-drained soil filters with discharges to existing drainage ways and solid waste removal would be done by privately contracted curbside pickup.

As of Thursday, Beverage said she was still discussing issues with the engineer who was making revisions to the plan. She said the board could approve the final plan Monday or it could approve it with conditions.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated matter, Travis Clark is scheduled to present an informal preapplication for construction of self-storage units at 199 College Ave.

Waterville Audiology also is expected to present an informal preapplication to relocate its offices from Silver Street to 105 Kennedy Memorial Drive. The Kennedy Memorial Drive site is the former office of Mid-Maine United Way, which moved out after the coronavirus pandemic struck earlier this year and sold the building to the Rancourt family, which owns and operates the audiology practice. The building was the site of a fire Thursday that caused damage, but the family and fire officials say it is repairable.

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