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Seattle NASCAR track still meeting resistanceUPDATE #3 Kitsap County commissioners might repeal the unusual zoning that serves as a "placeholder" for a future NASCAR speedway in South Kitsap, officials say. Repeal of the "industrial multi-purpose recreation area" — or IMPRA — is one option to answer a legal challenge filed by opponents of the speedway, according to Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen.
While a repeal could be viewed as a setback for track supporters, the most significant battleground remains the state Legislature, where lawmakers will be asked to approve a funding package. More at Kitsap Sun
04/14/06 A push by Florida-based International Speedway Corp. to build an 84,000-seat NASCAR speedway in Kitsap County could end next month if state lawmakers don't appear eager to help finance the project, an executive for the company warns. Grant Lynch, a company vice president, told The News Tribune that a critical meeting is scheduled on May 31 with state lawmakers. After that, company officials will reassess the project.
"My company wants the speedway in Kitsap County," Lynch said. "My company also understands that with a project of this size, the more time you spend on it, the more money it costs."
12/10/05 Speedway Corp. officials will get their opportunity to pitch the plan when the Senate Ways and Means Committee in Washington State convenes next month. But there does not appear to be much support for the track in the legislature. At a recent Senate caucus, there was a request for a show of hands from track supporters not one raised their hand. "For us to even be seriously considering it, there would have to be a groundswell of support," Sen. Margarita Prentice, D-Renton, chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said.
NASCAR is very much aligned with the Republican party, hence another reason why the democrats in Washington are not too keen on the track. ISC is going to have to open their check books and start lining the pockets of a lot of politicians before this track gets approved.
07/25/05 International Speedway Corp. wants state money to help build a proposed $250 million racetrack in Kitsap County. State Treasurer Mike Murphy is opposed. "If one were to list the various priorities that the state should be funding, that one would not make the first page for me," Murphy said.
"They are wanting a handout," he told the Kitsap Sun newspaper for Sunday editions. "We have more important things to be spending money on. The budgetary drain on the state for that type of facility basically says we won't be doing something else, because there are a limited amount of dollars."
The state had a $1.6 billion budget deficit this year, a shortfall that was covered through about $500 million in new taxes on alcohol, cigarettes and inheritances. The Legislature will likely face another shortfall when it addresses the budget for 2007.
Florida-based ISC has hired a veteran team of attorneys and lobbyists to help win over legislators. Among the team are Jay Reich, a bond attorney involved in the Seattle Mariners and Seahawks stadium deals, and Gogerty Stark Marriott, a political strategy firm that helped win support for those projects.
"It's important that we have good counsel as we move through the process," said Grant Lynch, ISC vice president. "We are not from here. And we have to understand the community we're operating in."
It appears ISC wants the state to issue general obligation bonds that would be paid off by revenues the track is expected to generate statewide. ISC would contribute tens of millions of dollars in private funds. More at AP article
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