Just recently, we received a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) to begin work. The ACOE permit is the third critical permit that we have received from state and federal authorities. Prior to receiving this permit, CMI received two major permits from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. We recognize that there is a current disagreement regarding certain local permits that may or may not be needed by CMI. We are working to resolve that issue, but we are very encouraged that state and federal regulators have concluded their rigorous reviews by granting our project the major required permits. These permits, particularly the Army Corps permit, cover many aspects of our construction plans and operations.
As part of the Army Corps’ review, we submitted an Operating Plan and Economic Benefits document that further describes how we will operate Valley Motorsports Park, and projects the economic benefits of the facility to the Town. Specific operational areas that were refined during the Corps permit review processes included hours of operation, sound levels, and more. In addition to these areas, we have taken the extra step and expanded the Operating Plan to include topics that have been raised since the very start of our project. With the Corps permit granted, we are publishing the Valley Motorsports Park Operating Plan and Economic Benefits, to let you know how we will operate the facility, as well as how we will be a strong contributing member of the community.
A full text of the Valley Motorsports Park Operating Plan and Economic Benefits is posted on this page and available for download and copies are also available at the Tamworth Town Hall. If you would like a hard copy, please request one from our office by calling 437-3278.
There are a few points from the Operating Plan I would like to highlight here.
The road course will be open from mid-April to the end of October during daylight hours only, subject to seasonal conditions. There will be no night-time road course use and the only lighting will be for safety and insurance reasons. The normal hours of operation for the road course will be from 8:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. with the exception of Sunday morning when there will be no vehicles on the course until 11 a.m. During the winter months, the road course will not be plowed, nor will salt or other chemicals be used to melt ice or snow. It will be open during the winter months for snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing. Snowmobiles will be allowed on existing trails that traverse the property for the purpose of connecting to other trails that are part of the state trails network. However, there will be no access to the road course by snowmobiles.
Under our Operating Plan, we will impose a sound limit of a maximum of 99 dBA per vehicle, measured instantaneously at 50 feet from the road course; with an average sound level of 92 dBA at 50 feet during driving sessions. The Army Corps found this sound level to be acceptable for both the well being of the Town as well as the profitable operation of the facility. As a point of comparison, large trucks passing by our facility on Route 25 everyday generate noise levels of up to 100 dBA and beyond.
The appropriate sound level is perhaps the largest item of controversy surrounding this project because of the complexity of measuring sound and its propagation characteristics as well as many common misconceptions. It’s important to stress that the Army Corps has reviewed our hours of operation and sounds levels contained in our Operating Plan and they feel the plan is fair too all parties. We are fully aware of the sound ordinance passed at Town Meeting in March 2004 that specified 69 dBA measured instantaneously at the property lot line. We have consistently stated that this extremely low limit is unreasonable and unworkable, as evidenced by the fact that this restriction would prevent us from even mowing our lawn at the lot line, or driving a car onto our property. At the appropriate time and before we operate, we are going to ask the Town to re-examine this issue through an open discussion. Again, we believe the sound limits reviewed and accepted by the Army Corps of Engineers are workable and reflect considerable study. We ask that the residents of Tamworth consider all the facts with an open mind, and to treat our facility in a fair an equitable manner as it relates to other commercial operations in town.
The economic benefits of a Valley Motorsports Park have also been widely discussed. We believe our business projections are eminently achievable and therefore the town taxes paid when the project is finished will increase in the Town's revenue by approximately $382,000 annually, with no additional expense to the Town. This will make CMI the single largest taxpayer in town. As for jobs, we project 50 employees by the completion of the first phase. This is in addition to those employed and during construction. Club Motorsports has committed both publicly and privately to give Town residents first priority for open positions, if they are qualified, and then look for applicants in the surrounding towns. Upon completion of all the phases of the project we expect to add another 50 jobs.
One benefit that has not been widely discussed is our intention to create the Tamworth Development Fund. In addition to the taxes and benefits detailed above, Club Motorsports pledges to contribute 5% of its net after tax income, up to a maximum of $100,000 per year, to a Tamworth Development Fund. This Fund will be administered by an independent committee comprised entirely of Town residents appointed by the selectmen. The committee will have sole discretion over the disposition of the assets accumulated in the Fund. Some potential uses for these assets might be Town budget items, an emergency aid fund for needy residents, or possibly the acquisition of conservation easements. The only requirement will be that Fund expenditures benefit the general population of Tamworth. At this stage in the company’s development, it is difficult to pinpoint the amount that will be contributed to the fund annually. However, based upon company projections, which we believe are attainable, the annual contribution would reach the maximum $100,000 by the fifth year of operation.
In closing, I would like to say again that it is our intention to be a good neighbor in the Town of Tamworth by being responsive to the Town's concerns while trying our best to provide a net benefit to its residents.
Lloyd C. Dahmen
President, Club Motorsports, Inc.
The Valley Motorsports Park Operating Plan and Economic Benefits Package (including all attachments and support documents) is also attached on this page as a PDF for downloading and printing.