Lincoln Speedway requests to hold national event
Council members will vote Tuesday
night on whether to allow the Lincoln Speedway racetrack to add a
non-Sunday event this season. Raceway owner-operators Gary Baugh and
Norm Horn would like to add a national event on Friday, July 15.
causes two concerns:
- First, the raceway was approved
to run races Sundays only.
- Second, the race will begin later
and therefore will end later than normal.
The only noted drawback in hosting
the races at the Logan County Fairgrounds is the noise created by
the cars. It is an imposition on those living closest to the track.
It is with their indulgence and in the interest of economics for the
community that the races were approved to operate one night per week
until at latest 10 p.m.
The hours for the national race are
requested to extend up to 11:30 p.m., though the race is expected to
end much sooner.
There would still be a Sunday night
regular race event that week as well.
Two unrelated demolition derbies and
the annual tractor pull were held at the track last year. Those are
planned for this year too.
Neighbors to the track presented a
petition with a hundred signatures opposing the Friday event.
Speedway owners want to bring national event to town," posted in
LDN on Feb. 14]
Contaminated properties restoration in planning process
Plans to pursue grants that will aid
in the cleanup of contaminated properties are still in process.
Randolph and Associates, Inc. will handle the engineering plans and
grant writing. Negotiations with Lincoln Parking LLC for the first
site development are in process.
trip holds hopes for future funding
The council's Legislative and Grant
Writing Committee went with Environmental Management Corp.
representatives to see our representatives in Washington, D.C. The
group left on Feb. 9 and returned on Feb. 11. While there, the group
met with legislative staff for U.S. Sens. Durbin and Obama and U.S.
Rep. Ray LaHood.
"We requested $500,000 this year for
a sewerage treatment plant south lift station STAG grant and felt
fairly confident we might be considered as a recipient again this
year," Mayor Beth Davis reported.
LaHood has been instrumental in
getting financial assistance to the area for infrastructure and
safety training and equipment. Lincoln received $500,000 toward the
sewer plant upgrade completed in 2004. He secured another $250,000
after that, which has been committed toward infrastructure.
[to top of second column in
City and county officials gathered in the Logan County Safety
Complex Emergency Operating Room last fall to acknowledge all the
equipment that U.S. Rep. Ray LaHood has helped law enforcement and
first responders to acquire. Left to right: Lincoln Police Chief
Robert Rawlins; Logan County Sheriff Steve Nichols; U.S. Rep.
LaHood; Dale Voyles, who was then Logan County Board
chairman; Lincoln Fire Chief Bucky Washam, holding a
blueberry-colored hazmat suit; Bob Thomas, who was then chief of the
Lincoln Rural Fire Department, holding an infrared camera; and Dan
Fulscher, ESDA director.
LaHood has also helped secure
federal homeland security matching grant funds that have benefited
all the city and county emergency service departments. Those funds
have allowed the purchase of an additional infrared camera so that
the city and rural fire departments each have one of these
lifesaving devices now.
The city police and county sheriff's
departments have new mobile telephones that use newer, more secure
frequencies for field communications.
The city fire department has a
trained hazardous materials team and was able to purchase the latest
in hazmat suits with self-contained breathing apparatus this past
Dilapidated properties addressed
A new awareness of properties that
are eyesores and bringing down property values spurred responses at
a meeting on Feb. 7. At that time city attorney Bill Bates supplied
a detailed explanation of why it is nearly impossible for the city
to take on these properties.
In summary, it is a lengthy and
complex process that can be pricey in legal fees to start. Then when
you add the demolition costs and possible hazardous materials
handling, it is usually not cost-effective to consider. He gave as
an example a property downtown. The Miller building cost $60,000 to
demolish and is sitting as an empty lot now worth $5,000 to $10,000.
Most properties might not cost that much to clean up but would cost
more than the $3,000 to $5,000 value they would have after
It is unfortunate, but it just is
not cost-effective for either the property owners or the city to
demolish some of these properties, Bates said, and the city
definitely cannot take on the costs of reclaiming the number of
properties that are out there.
Rob Orr of the Lincoln/Logan County
Development Partnership said that he has had people come forward who
are interested in helping get these properties cleaned up. They see
the economic benefit to the community in getting the run-down
properties looking better and are willing to supply some money.
Mayor Beth Davis agreed that the
city would like to work together with the development partnership
and may be willing to supply some matching financing to provide a
means for property owners to do something with these properties.
Finance chairman Verl Prather said
he thought the city could set up a community beautification grant
with these funds as a redevelopment source to help property owners.