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Former Saratoga rifle range to be inspected

Approximately 100 acres of residential and forested land just east of Weibel Avenue in Saratoga Springs will get a visit from the New York Army National Guard this summer.

The National Guard will be checking an old rifle range for potential environmental concerns on that area of land that was used from 1878 to 1951. Property owners in the designated area are in the process of granting the National Guard permission to be on the property.

Based on a 1960 photograph and map, it's just north of Old Saratoga Road and east of Weibel Avenue, currently made up of private owners and the City of Saratoga, so we're sending out written letters requesting right of entry for the contract process, said Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo.

Lombardo said the old rifle range is one of 23 former New York Army National Guard training sites that will be inspected in the summer months. More than 400 sites in 48 states and two territories will receive inspections that were mandated by the Department of Defense Military Munitions Response Program.

"The program is being conducted worldwide to address human health, safety and environmental concerns at former non-operational defense sites," according to information from the National Guard.

Contractors will look for things like spent cartridges at the Saratoga location but said they're not sure exactly what they'll find.

"What we anticipate at this point is because it was a small arms range, we're really not sure what we will find, if anything, because munitions in Saratoga are unknown at this time," said Lombardo. "In this case, it's more environmental stewardship. We used the area at one time and it hasn't been used in so long, so the National Guard wanted to get a determination of when it was used and what, if anything is found, will be cleaned up."

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