Regional Firearms Training Facility Dedicated

George Winner

October 09, 2007

Bath, N.Y.-- State Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira) and Assemblyman Jim Bacalles (R-C, Corning)joined area law enforcement officers and other local leaders todayat an official ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the Bath Police Department’s Regional Firearms Training Facility at the Bath Rod & Gun Club.

In a joint statement, Bacalles and Winner said, "We’re grateful for the opportunity to help achieve a premiere training facility for local law enforcement officers. It’s an investment in the safety and skill of our officers, as well as in public security throughout the region."

Winner and Bacalles secured $15,000 in the 2006-07 New York State budget to facilitate the completion of the training building and range including the installation of 10 state-of-the-art, remote-operated turning target systems. According to Bath Police Chief David K. Rouse, these types of targets enable "scenario-based training" requiring officers to utilize both judgmental and marksmanship skills in determining threat levels and identifying hostile and friendly targets. Rouse said that no other training facility in the region offers this kind of state-of-the-art training capability.

"We are very appreciative of all the efforts of those involved. The Bath Rod & Gun Club was very generous in providing us with the site. The perseverance of Bath Police Sergeant and Firearms Instructor Lester R. Brown, Jr., has finally paid off. Sergeant Brown was responsible for coordinating this project from start to finish," said Rouse. "This project took five years to complete and could not have been done without the support and commitment of former New York State Senator John R. Kuhl, Jr., New York State Senator George H. Winner, Jr., New York State Assemblyman Jim Bacalles, the Bath Village Board of Trustees, numerous municipalities, area service clubs and organizations, numerous businesses and private individuals. Law enforcement agencies throughout the region will benefit from this project for many years to come."

Winner stressed that the completion of the new training facility was bolstered by the shared services efforts of many area municipalities including the village of Bath (Police, Street, Fire and Bath Electric, Gas and Water Systems; town highway departments from Avoca, Bath, Cohocton, Dansville, Horseheads, Howard, Fremont, Urbana, Wayland, Wayne and Wheeler, as well as the Steuben County Highway Department; New York State Department of Environmental Conservation; Steuben-Allegany BOCES (Coopers Plains); Haverling High School; Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation District; and Bath Veterans Administration Medical Center Department of Veteran Affairs.

Many local businesses and contractors donated manpower and resources to the construction effort. Donations were received from Bath Rod & Gun Club; Bath Elks Lodge 1547; Steuben County Veterans Memorial; Charles E. Wescott American Legion Post 173; Hornell Association; Robert N. Austin Memorial American Legion Post 1279; Longwell Lumber; Home Depot of Gang Mills; Sears of Bath (Steve & Lisa Jones); Bath Plumbing; I.D. Booth of Elmira and Bath; Bath Rite Aid; Eckerd Pharmacy; Avoca Village Sales; John W. Taggart Insurance; Steuben County Deputies Association; Bath Police Benevolent Association; Bond-Davis Funeral Home; Emanuel Ninos; Arby's of Bath; Five-Star Bank; Community Bank; Addison Police Department; Steuben Trust Company; and the Tenant Association of Clyde F. Simon Lakeview Apartments; Babcock Ladder; and Sherwin-Williams of Bath.

Initial construction of the project was spearheaded by Floyd Helm Construction of Bath. Other area contractors who donated manpower and equipment to the project were Machuga Contractors, Inc.; Dave Remchuk General Contractors; Dan Coots Contractors; Todd Dildine Electric; Keeler Services; Dave Vanamburg; Pat McDonald; George "Butch" McKinley; Mike Buck Excavation; John Osborne; John Ferris Trucking; S & F Rentals; T & R Towing; Hargraves Excavation; Steve Coots Concrete; John Sincerbox; Steuben Crush Stone; Hanson Aggregate; Knight Settlement Sand & Gravel; Elam Materials; and Updike Well Drilling.

Additional labor was provided by Bob Yorio, Mark Stonier, Jim Wood, Greg Kulikowski, Rod Fisher, Tom Crossett, Steve Didas, Dave Hodge and Dave Rouse, all of Bath; Steve Sellerd and Gerald Knowles of Addison; Jim White of Hammondsport; John Florence of Canisteo; and Rod Garrahan of Corning.

Joining Bacalles and Winner at today's ribbon cuttingwere Rouse and other Bath police officers; Bath Village Mayor David G. Wallace; Bath Village Trustee and Police Department Liaison Michael G. Skelly; Pete Ellis, Congressional Aid for U.S. Congressman John R. Kuhl, Jr.; and Bath Rod & Gun Club President Gary Jacobs and Past Presidents Jim Poust, Harry Dickson and Jim Wood. Also invited to attend the ceremony are Steuben County Legislative Chairman Philip J. Roche and Steuben County Administrator Mark R. Alger.

Over 100 peoplewere in attendance.