Updated 02/14/2013 08:37 AM
Monticello Motor Club announces expansion plans at public hearing
The Monticello Motor Club has plans to grow their operation, providing even more jobs for Sullivan County. But not everyone in the town of Thompson is supportive of the club. Our Eva McKend was at the public hearing in Monticello and has more.
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MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- The Monticello Motor Club lays out its plans to expand.
The clubs president says the club wants to grow its membership, build more private garages, another clubhouse and bring up to three professional races to Monticello each year.
"We are looking at another $41 to $45 million of additional investment over the next 10 years, hiring another 60 people," said Motor Club president Ari Straus.
More jobs, more foot traffic and more economic development. It's like music to the ears for some in the cash strapped and underemployed Sullivan County. But it sounds more like noise pollution to other residents who live near the tracks.
"I mean it's time to move on and get ahead and grow like all of the other counties around us," said one man at the public hearing.
"You cannot imagine the noise in my home here that I get when they are racing and to have a sound study to say that I cannot hear it here is something I refuse to accept," said Ann Culligan of the Concerned Citizens of the Town of Thompson, a group that formed two years ago specifically to address what they describe as a serious noise problem.
The sound study commissioned by the club revealed the noise from the track doesn't exceed that of an airport. That was the previous use of the property the club now occupies.
"I lived here 40 years. I live about a mile away from the motor club. I never heard the airport, never once," said Richard Chiger also of the Concerned Citizens group.
Culligan and Chiger have collected more than one hundred petitions but that may be no match for the Motor Club who have made it a point to become a fixture in the community. The club can also make a promise few others can, more well paying jobs. The Sullivan County Visitors Association spoke out at the public hearing in steadfast support of the raceway.
The planning board is expected to make a decision on whether they will grant the clubs expansion plan in the next few weeks.