Below are notes taken. There is no editorial comments made. We all just listened since it was a public meeting. My friend took the following:
Meeting Notes from
Four Friends of Millville members attended this meeting. Our preference was that the proceedings of this meeting be communicated via video; however, at the start of the meeting, Emil Van Hook approached Mark Krull and demanded that he not tape the proceedings (Mark had his omnipresent camera). Andrew Van Hook added that if any recording of the proceedings was shared, Mark would be sued.
So my notes will have to suffice. I’m confident these are reasonably accurate, although there may be some errors due to misunderstanding or misinterpretation. These were the proceedings as I recorded them:
Emil Van Hook:
Emil referred to a chart illustrating the difference between the amount
David McCann spoke on the noise issue. He noted that as Emil demonstrated, the MP is an investment of taxpayer money. The investment was made on the taxpayers’ behalf in the belief that the MP will help economic development. Although the past season was only partial, there seems to be no spillover effect into the local economy. A recent survey indicated that downtown
Harry Fisher also spoke to the noise issue. The Porecca Drive Homeowner’s Association was involved in discussions with the MP developer and the city, but they did not get very far. The city passed a noise ordinance. However, 20 minutes at 80 decibels will never happen, because noise dissipates as cars move around the track. The Planning Board held a hearing on the MP development plan. Millville First had their own noise expert who conducted tests. The Planning Board did not take any action with respect to the city noise ordinance. A lawsuit on the part of environmental groups also did not have any impact on the noise ordinance. The outcome of the lawsuit was a consent agreement, which did not address the noise ordinance but instead addressed noise abatement through things such as asphalt, buildings, and trees. However, a lot of the provisions of the agreement never happened. The consent agreement was not monitored by the city.
A Daily Journal article today reported the 2009 lineup for the MP. The events include the loud open-wheel races as well as the AMA series anticipating attendance by 40,000 people. Things are going to get worse. There will be 80 decibel readings every 10 minutes.
There was some reference to circulation of a petition protesting three new tracks that were never part of the original plan.
Paul Porecca: People have to get involved in government. Things happen, and if you don’t act, it’s too late. It is not too late for the future of the MP, even though the city has opposed amending agreements. The city commission at the time (David Vanaman, who is here, was not a member at the time) asked the MP developer to present whatever they wanted to make the project a success. The city signed off. What can be done now: let the commissioners know how you feel about what is going on. They are sensitive to feedback. We can’t give them a blank check. The MP has to come half way and do their share. A recent news article said the MP wants to put in three motocross tracks. MF went to the city and asked if there would be public hearings. The proposal was to put these tracks on the residential side of the MP. This was a significant change the MP intended to make without city approval. It is clear these changes would have gone through if the city (thanks to MF) had not stepped up and asked MP to comply with the law. The
Bob Teseroni: The MP has diverted traffic from High Street. The MP club house has a restaurant open, which is not helping the High Street merchants. At the Union Lake Crossing shopping center, the developer has not constructed the promised wall to protect school children. There are no soccer fields, as promised.
Paul Porecca: The city is not writing good contracts to protect its citizens. There is no time limit in their contracts as to when things must be completed. The construction of an oval track at MP is planned on the
Question: Why can’t the city require walls to control sound? Porrecca: This could have been a requirement but is probably not financially feasible. The city could have made different requirements. The only reason there is a wall at one track turn is because Citizens United and MF pushed for it.
Noted from audience: Permits have to be renewed (e.g., environmental). These could be held up by citizen objections. Complaint about traffic – Porecca notes it is going to get worse, especially if
Question about dirt bikes at MP. Porecca: State police permits are needed to run a race. There is a plan to put an ATV track next to the oval track south of Buckshutem. The MP does not need more permits from the city. Vigilance is needed. We must keep an eye on the Planning Board and the city to see if applications are filed.
Question: Will motorcycles be more annoying because of higher pitch: Emil Van Hook: Involvement is one of the most important issues. We have to be vigilant and knowledgeable. MF action resulted in the withdrawal of the Matzel & Mumford proposal to develop the land next to
Question as to whether MP has met abatement commitments. Answer: Don’t know. MF has asked about vegetation planting. OPRA request filed asking what was done. Kim Ayres and city engineer said requirements had been met.
Question: $7 million environmental remediation costs should have been paid by developer. Can the city get this money back from the developer? Answer: Agreement says developer responsible for cleanup. The city gets $2 million a year from the state for environmental cleanup. The city chose to take three years funding and use it for cleanup of 1300 acres at industrial park. Much of this is wetlands that can’t be built upon. 500 of these acres are used by the MP. Most of the cleanup was done on these 500 acres. The MP should have paid for one third of the cleanup. Porecca: “You have to sue. I have two law suits.”
MP has not purchased land south of Buckshutem yet. They agreed to buy 707 acres and have purchased 500. They are in contract to buy the other 200 acres. Their 2004 contract expired because the city didn’t get its act together. MF called the city’s attention to the fact that they needed a new contract. MF pointed out the deficiencies. The city signed a new contract as a result of MF pushing, but the only change was that the MP is not required to use union labor. The contract calls for the purchase of 700 acres in stages. We don’t know the expiration date. Will check. It is probably, “whenever you’re ready.” There is no change in the price of the land. MP borrowed from Merrill Lynch – don’t know the impact.
From audience: Saw plumbing between the two tracks; looks as if for campers. The answer is to “get a whole new regime” (clapping). Response: That is an issue to be addressed in May. Vote them out.