Racing fans who might have dreamed of making the Daytona International Speedway their eternal home had their hopes dashed today, as a Florida Senate committee voted down a bill that would have made those dreams possible.
The Senate Committee on Regulated Industries rejected the bill by a 5-7 vote, which would have allowed columbariums to be built at both Daytona International Speedway and Homestead Miami Speedway. Columbariums are buildings that house urns.
The state House companion bill had already passed two committees, and was scheduled for its third and final committee hearing Thursday.
"I just felt very strongly that to have people's remains, cremated remains, at the same place where there's NASCAR racing and a motorsports entertainment complex was not appropriate," said state Sen. Maria Lorts Sachs, D-Delray Beach, the committee's vice chairwoman. "A lot of that has to do with the fact that I love NASCAR and I love Daytona, and I didn't want it to turn into a partial cemetery."
Of the committee members, two represent districts that include Volusia County -- state Sen.John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, who voted yes, and state Sen. Tony Hill, D-Jacksonville, who voted no. The bill was sponsored by state Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, whose district also includes part of Volusia.
Daytona International Speedway officials have received many requests in the past from people wanting to have their ashes there, said Lenny Santiago, a spokesman for International Speedway Corp., which owns the track.
"The fact that it didn't pass the Senate does make this process that much more difficult," Santiago said. "We're going to evaluate our options." Daytona Beach News Journal
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