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Grain Valley says racetrack will close in October
Question of the Day
GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. (AP) - Valley Speedway racetrack in the Kansas City suburb of Grain Valley will run its last race in October unless its owner and city officials can reach agreement on how to solve persistent complaints about excessive noise.
After hearing more than four hours of testimony before a packed room, the Grain Valley Board of Aldermen voted early Friday to revoke the conditional use permit for the dirt track. It also approved a second ordinance directing city staff to negotiate with track owner Dennis Shrout to determine possible ways to address problems with noise and other violations of the permit.
However, Shrout told KSHB-TV (http://bit.ly/U6sB7K ) that he was unlikely to negotiate with the city and he plans to appeal the decision.
“I don’t agree with what they did, I don’t agree with how they say that the sound study needs to be done,” he said. “And those are all issues that are still there. Whether or not they want to negotiate a new conditional use permit is pointless, because we can’t meet the sound rules. “
The decision allows the track to finish the season and close Oct. 1.
The city contends Shrout has violated a provision of his conditional use permit for years, particularly a requirement to keep noise levels near the property’s edge below 65 decibels.
City Attorney James Cook said the city has repeatedly raised concerns about the noise and other issues such as not having fire evacuation and traffic-flow plans, The Independence Examiner reported (http://bit.ly/U6u1iR ).
“It’s clear to me that we have a situation where Mr. Shrout doesn’t want to take responsibility that he should take,” Cook told the aldermen.
Neighbors have complained about the noise level for years but Shrout said the city did not raise that concern with him when he bought the track in 2008.
The city said Shrout had not done an annual study required under the permit until two months ago, despite repeated promises. Shrout said he did a study a few years ago but never got the results.
Shrout said he had done what he could, putting signs and trailers around the track, running the quietest racecars in the last race of the evening, requiring racers to use mufflers and having most races over by 9:30 p.m. or 10 p.m.
“This is more than just technical issues that we’re dealing with,” said Shrout’s attorney, Bill Moore. “We’re dealing with the livelihood of an individual.”
Information from: KSHB-TV, http://www.kshb.com
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