Monadnock Rod and Gun club ordered to pay $650K

The Monadnock Rod and Gun Club is being ordered to pay close to $650,000 to the couple on whose land the club built its firearms range.

More than a year after the Monadnock Rod and Gun Club was ordered to pay a couple close to $650,000 to clean up the land the club illegally took for a gun range, the club has yet to make good on the order.

L. Phillips Runyon, the attorney for Scott and Bridgette Perry, said the couple is considering working with the town of Peterborough and forcing a sale of the club’s property in order to collect the money.

“I don’t think they have any liquid property,” Runyon said.

Club officials have not responded to multiple requests for comment. The club was represented in court by different attorneys before former club president Mark Carbone took over the case. Runyon said Carbone stopped participating in the hearings toward the end of the case last year.

The town of Peterborough was awarded a summary judgment in its cases against the club in a December ruling. The town is supposed to get $3,500 in fines and reasonable attorney’s fees for the club’s violations of wetlands regulations and zoning ordinances. Town Administrator Nicole MacStay said this week the club had not made any payment to the town, as ordered by the court.

The club, which has been in existence since 1947, brought a lawsuit against Scott and Bridgette Perry in 2018 over the firearms range on a six-acre parcel on Old Jaffrey Road that the Perrys own. Bridgette Perry said that after the couple complained to the club about the range on their land, the club sought the ruling so that it could take the land through adverse possession, also known as squatter’s rights.

The club initially tried to buy the land for $10,000, an offer the Perrys rejected.

Hillsborough Superior Court Judge David Anderson ruled in favor of the Perrys in March of last year, after the couple had three experts testify about the damage done to their land when the club filled in the wetlands so it could build parts of the range. The soil used for fill is now considered contaminated because of the lead from the spent ammunition.

The total to remove the soil and remediate the land is $648,402, experts who testified on behalf of the Perrys said, according to Anderson’s order.

The firearms range has been silent since 2018, when the town was granted an injunction against the club. MacStay said Peterborough filed a lawsuit against the club over alleged land use violations.

“In addition to the violations related to the wetlands, the Town’s complaint also included violations of the State Building Code, Site Plan Review Regulations, and Zoning Ordinance, which occurred on the MRGC property and are included in the Town’s complaint,” MacStay said.

The summary judgment ruling closes the case, and it may close out the club. Peterborough voters adopted a zoning amendment in 2018 that outlaws all new outdoor gun ranges. The club had the only outdoor range in town prior to the shutdown.