The first year (2005) that the track ran, the races were on Sunday
evenings. People living near the track complained about the noise
during and following the first season.
The next year (2006) the races were on Saturday nights.
At the request of the council, the businessmen have been up to
the council chambers numerous times this fall to discuss the next
season. Their first proposal was rejected.
They sent a new proposal to the council earlier this month and
were asked to come and clarify some information.
For next year's scheduled nights they have asked to be allowed
one-third (or seven) of their races on Sunday nights and two-thirds
of the races on Saturday nights, with one completion weekday night
allowed for unfinished races.
The business would also like to sell alcohol (beer) again, but
allow it to go in the stands, with a nonalcohol section in the
They would supply their own security.
The race season runs April through September, with a potential 21
to 22 races.
Ordinance chairman Alderman Marty Neitzel prefaced opening
discussion Monday night by saying:
"Mr. Hammer and Mr. Horn have been [coming] up here, and I feel
that the other two [previous] owners that have had the racetrack
were given kind of carte blanche to have their own way. We told them
that we would be willing to compromise. I feel they are
compromising, asking for just one-third Sundays.
"It's four hours a week. I don't think there's four hours that
there's noise at that time.
"I'm asking the citizens of Lincoln to understand we're trying to
bring business to Lincoln and make it better."
The owners were asked to clarify the meaning and conditions of
the weekday completion race request.
Hammer and Horn said that it would depend on what was not
completed on a given race night. It might be that one race would be
rerun from the start on a weeknight. This would be applied in the
event of one rainout.
Alderman Benny Huskins asked for a shut-off time for Sunday
A 10:30 p.m. curfew was set for Sundays and the same curfew in
the event that there is a weekday night race.
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Huskins said that he would be voting no in order to represent what
he thought his constituents would want.
He said he understood that
the owners want to make a go of it, but he recalled that the race
car drivers who came up to the chambers last spring said that they
were for Saturday night races. He also noted that there was a
noticeable reduction of complaints from citizens when the races went
from Sundays to Saturdays.
Aldermen Melody Anderson and Verl Prather were concerned about
the business supplying its own security. It was previously approved
to hire off-duty city police officers. "I want to be confident that
there's adequate security out there," Prather said.
Horn said that from start of the season there was a little
trouble every race last year, and they had security that were
identified running all over out there. When Hammer came along in
midseason and took over, his manner of running security changed the
atmosphere for the better, he said.
Hammer said they would have guys walking around out there
providing coverage the whole time, as well as continuing with two
police officers to monitor the alcohol sales.
They would probably have the Veterans of Foreign Wars selling
beer, the same as last year, he said.
The VFW has an event liquor license. They would be the
responsible party to monitor underage alcohol sales. "They're the
ones responsible if things go bad," liquor commission member Les
Plotner said. "They're the first ones to bite the bullet."
Motion to accept the proposed 2007 racing season schedule and
Sunday night with a curfew of 10:30
Alcohol sales would
be limited to three beers
Alcohol allowed in
the stands, with a nonalcohol section provided
Two off-duty police
officers to monitor alcohol sales
The business would
supply its own security
Voting no: Prather, Huskins, Kathy Horn, Buzz Busby, Wanda Lee
Voting yes: Daron Whittaker, Anderson, Derrick Crane, Neitzel and
"Mayor votes yes," Mayor Davis said.
"OK, you guys got one year to do this," she said.
"Thank you. Merry Christmas," Hammer said.