Motocross track raises questions

Written by Observer Upload July 09, 2012 06:21 pm

Cody Vavra, a motocross enthusiast, has proposed to build a motocross track on Mount Emily Recreation Area land off Fox Hill Road. The proposal calls for grant-funded construction for the 6/10th of a mile track, which would be built and maintained by
Union County with donated materials and volunteer labor.

 

Important questions, though, need to be answered before we would support moving forward with the plan. What grants are to fund the track? Who are the volunteers who will provide maintenance? Who will organize the volunteers, maintenance and events? What measures will be taken to address safety issues? Dust? Noise? What’s the plan for continued operation of the track for years to come?

As Union County Commissioner Steve McClure said, concerns about impacts should be thoroughly explored before a decision is made whether to build the track.  We need to have a civil (not combative) discussion on the proposed construction and use of the motocross track, which would cover about 7.5 acres with motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle use. 

The upside of the attraction would be an influx of visitors who would support the local economy, and a dedicated site for motocross enthusiasts to use on the 3,700 acre MERA. The downside could be more accidents on the very steep Fox Hill road, and more traffic, dust and noise as the track draws more visitors and events to the public recreation area.

As discussion goes forward, facilitated by Union County’s MERA Motorized Use Advisory Committee, and as the proposal goes through the public process, constructive debate will be encouraged. We are pleased to see that the committee is now gathering input from Fox Hill residents to discuss at its July meeting as a start for the discussion. 

As with any topic, it’s possible to respect other viewpoints and to find common ground.  We would like to see community concerns and questions answered and the project plan fully developed before we add an additional facility to the county’s assets.