Racetrack meets with the mayor regarding 2010 schedule
Mayor Keith Snyder said he met with the Lincoln
Speedway owners and they presented their schedule for the 2010
In November the council agreed to give the mayor authority to
approve the schedule as well as approve or deny special events and
amendments to the schedule during the year.
Snyder presented a copy of what is on the docket for this year,
which indicates that the track will open in March. Events are
scheduled for March 20, 27; April 2, 3, 16, 23, 30; May 7, 14, 18;
June 4, 12, 18, 27; July 4, 9, 16, 25, 30; Sept. 24; Oct. 7, 8, 9
Currently the tentative schedule shows that there will be no
racing the entire month of August and the first three weeks of
There is a two-day event scheduled for April 2 and 3 and a
four-day event running from Oct. 7 through 10.
Snyder said he is presenting two requests for an amendment to the
current rules, one of his own making and the other a request from
First, Snyder wants to change the curfew on nights when there is
school in District 27 the following day. Currently the rules state
that the curfew is 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10:30 p.m.
on Sundays. Snyder wants to set the curfew at 9 on nights before
school days. With the majority of the races on Friday and Saturday
nights, there will be only a few dates when this special curfew
Alderman David Armbrust said he was not a fan of the racing, but
looking at it from a business perspective, he wasn't sure how
Lincoln Speedway could effectively run a business when they were
being cut short on time.
Snyder moved on to the second requested amendment, which came
from the track operators. The operators are asking that in the
course of the season they be allowed three 30-minute extensions to
The breaking of the curfew has historically been a controversial
issue between the city and the track.
When Alderwoman Melody Anderson, policy and procedure chair,
rewrote the racetrack rules in November, she eliminated the curfew
extensions altogether, and though it didn't have to be voted on, the council at
that time did not object.
In discussing this, it was stated by Alderwoman Joni Tibbs that
the curfew extensions were specifically for when there was an
unavoidable delay in the races, such as for cleaning the track after
However, others, including Anderson and city attorney Bill Bates,
said the extensions had been abused.
"They are using it to go longer," Bates said. "There is no ifs
ands or buts about it."
Tibbs countered Bates' comments, saying that she didn't believe
this was happening.
Bates and Anderson both countered that it does happen and that it
specifically happened last season.
Alderman David Wilmert spoke up and said that perhaps the race
managers needed to build some flexibility into their schedule. Maybe
they should start earlier to allow for possible delays.
Anderson said: "We have gone over and above to be accommodating
and try to make things work for them, but I think it is time that we
start giving a little more weight to the people who have to listen
to all this. Eleven o'clock at night is late enough to have to
listen to that noise."
She concluded: "I know how far I am from the track and how loud
it can be. Those people that live closer -- after 11, I don't care
what night it is, that is late enough."
The mayor brought the discussion to an end, asking if the two
motions could be put on Monday's voting agenda. Anderson spoke up
again, saying that they had to be two separate motions.
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City loses out on fiber optic grant
Wilmert announced that the city did not receive the federal grant
they had applied for in connection with fiber optic broadband
Because they were unable to get the federal grant, the state
grant has also gone by the wayside.
He said that in their application, the city had specified that
they would do a 35 percent payback on the grant. When they received
the letter saying they had been denied, one reason was because they
could not pay back 50 percent as a loan.
There is a round two grant coming up through the federal stimulus
program, but Wilmert said that the steering committee had decided
not to apply.
He said that the new funding opportunity involved more red tape
and higher requirements for matching funds. In addition, the firm
that had assisted with the writing for the first grant has said that
instead of tweaking the current application, they would want to redo
it completely and at a cost comparable to the first
Wilmert added that the steering committee is not going to give up
on the project. They will continue to look for other resources, and
eventually fiber optic technology will come to the city of Lincoln.
Candidate for building and safety officer to be introduced Monday
Snyder said that Alderwoman Stacy Bacon, Wilmert and he have
completed their task of finding a suitable replacement for the
retiring city building and safety officer, Les Last. Last's final
day on the job is scheduled for April 2.
The three-member committee received 28 applications for the
position and did 15 interviews.
They have narrowed it down to one candidate they feel is suitable
and have asked that person to appear before the council on Monday
Mayor is ready to seek new Ward 4 alderman
Snyder said it is time to look for a new alderman for the
vacant Ward 4 seat. The seat became vacant with the untimely death
of Alderman Nathan Turner.
Anyone who is interested in filling this position must first live
in Ward 4, and secondly should submit a letter of interest and a
resume to the mayor.
Snyder did not specify a deadline for applying but said that he
wanted to move forward as quickly as possible.
Interested individuals can mail their information to:
Mayor Keith Snyder
700 Broadway St.
Lincoln IL 62656
or e-mail him at
[By NILA SMITH]
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