The man who owns the property that contains an unpermitted firing range has paid nearly $53,000 in fines

The man who owns the property that contains an unpermitted firing range that has generated complaints about the intimidation of neighbors and noise has paid nearly $53,000 in fines, the town of Pawlet said Thursday. In a news release, the town said that Daniel Banyai, the owner of Slate Ridge in West Pawlet, had paid the town $52,965.35, to satisfy the fines and accrued interest imposed by the court for zoning violations between Sept. 6, 2019, and Dec. 16, 2020, when a trial was held on the issue. Town Attorney Merrill Bent said Thursday the fines continue to accrue in an amount that will be decided by a judge at a contempt hearing scheduled for April 18. Last month the town moved to foreclose on the property and it also asked that Banyai be jailed if he refuses to comply with the court’s orders. Slate Ridge neighbors have complained for some time about gunfire at the facility and what they claimed were threats and intimidation by Banyai and his supporters. Banyai bought the 30-acre property known as Slate Ridge in 2013 and sometime in 2017 he began operating what he calls a firearms training facility. The property is only permitted to have a garage with an apartment. Around the time Banyai began operating the shooting range, he erected a 500-square-foot structure to serve as the training center and a number of outdoor shooting ranges, all without necessary zoning permits. Banyai has been ordered to remove the unpermitted structures.

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