For a weekend in October, a stretch of Haefer Lane in Cove will be transformed into a soap box derby track and the site of a weekend of racing for participants ages 7 through 18.
At the A ugust Cove City Council meeting, Cove resident Sam Delaney approached the council about the potential of hosting an official soap box derby rally race in Cove, coordinated through the national organization All-American Soap Box Derby and the Oregon Soap Box Derby Club, that would attract racers from Oregon and Washington.
The council was enthusiastic about the opportunity but asked Delaney to get a few things in order. First, the council wanted Delaney to check with all of the homeowners on the stretch of Haefer Lane from Jasper Street to Conklin Lane, where the proposed racing would take place. Next, the council requested confirmation of the Oregon Soap Box Derby Club’s insurance. Lastly, Delaney was tasked with contacting the Union County Sheriff’s Office to ensure he would not need any special permission from the county or the Oregon Department of Transportation to close the road for the weekend.
On Sept. 4 at the Cove City Council meeting, Delaney reported he got a 100 percent positive reaction from the homeowners on Haefer Lane. He also brought an example of what information the club’s insurance would need from the city. He reported he spoke with Union County Sheriff Boyd Rasmussen and told him the lane was a city road not a county one. Rasmussen told Delaney he would give approval to close the road as long as the city approved the closure. Delaney said he also spoke with Earl Pettit, superintendent of Cove School District, who gave him permission to let attendees and participants use the high school parking lot.
The Cove City Council asked Delaney a handful of questions and then approved the road closure for the event Oct. 13 and 14.
Delaney told The Observer he has been helping his children compete in soap box derby races for four or five years, ever since his son, Reese, now 11 years old, began racing.
See more in Wednesday's edition of The Observer.