Racetrack flap continued
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[FEB. 23, 2005]
It's an issue of revenue
versus quality of life, Alderman Patrick Madigan summarized.
Residents living as far as one mile away from the Logan County
Fairgrounds packed the council chamber on Tuesday night. Louella
Moreland, Marlene Perry, Rod McCray and Barry Miller all registered
complaints against the increase in car racing events.
A year ago the council OK'd the races
for one night per week with a noise curfew of 10:30. They agreed
that Sundays would be the day. Lincoln Speedway is asking for an
additional night of racing for a special national event on Friday,
July 15, with a noise curfew extension up to11:30 p.m.
Track owners Gary Baugh and Horn didn't
budge at the suggestion Madigan made two weeks ago when they first
appeared before the council. Madigan asked them at that time if they
would consider sacrificing the regularly scheduled Sunday night race
in order to host the much bigger national event that would run on
Friday night on July 15. Baugh's response was "no." He didn't want
to shortchange their regular weekly drivers that they count on and
that count on them.
Baugh was reminded on Tuesday that
he said the season's schedule is out well in advance and those
regular drivers would have plenty of opportunity to choose something
else for that week.
Baugh said he felt that the one
event should be tried. The focus should be on what the national
event would bring to the community and that if it is successful and
other large events approach him, he would come back in the years
ahead and see how the council felt about it.
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"You should give a Sunday for a
Friday," Buzz Busby said.
Alderman Marty Neitzel supported
trying out the proposed national event this year in the interest of
what is best for Lincoln. She said we've been trying to get people
to come here. This event could bring 5,000 to 10,000 people in to
look this town over, she said.
Alderman Glenn Shelton agreed that
the event would be a shot in the arm for Lincoln but doesn't want
the track owners to push the limits with more than one night per
week. "We don't want to run multiple race nights," he said.
The request to support hosting the
July 15 event passed 8-2. Aldermen Shelton, Dave Armbrust, Verl
Prather, Kathy Horn, Jonie Tibbs, Buzz Busby, Derrick Crane and
Marty Neitzel voted yes. Aldermen Benny Huskins and Patrick Madigan
voted no. The latter serve the ward closest to the track.