Snipped from the video in the KCTV report linked below.
As you may have read the Kansas City International Raceway, a small drag strip in the 8200 block of Noland Road in far south eastern Kansas City, is going to be bought by the city and converted to a park. It is a deal that has an awful stink about it in so many ways. I was completely disgusted after reading this article in the Kansas City Star and posted this on Facebook.
This is a biased incomplete article that does not ask the hard questions. The KCIR sale is a boondoggle that will cost the city money it does not have, done to keep the swells happy and insure election for Circo. It will replace a business with an empty park that will not give tax income and, in fact, will likely become a crime and dumping problem for the area. They may wake up in 10 years and realize the race track was a pretty good neighbor!
One thing I didn't cover in my indignant rant is the fact that the sale was rushed through the legislative process "recognizing an emergency." So what is the emergency? To complete the sale before any public hearing can be conducted and to make sure that no one can see the exact way the sale was completed? Notice in the article how little of the usual paper work surrounding the sale of a property is being made available. If too much time were to pass before the council approved this lovely little boondoggle, the intrusive and disinfecting rays of sunshine might be brought to bear on the process. There are games being played with the negotiations, the power of eminent domain to take something without proper compensations, the refusal to allow racing until another site is secured, and so forth. The power of government--is it being used in the interest of all the citizens, or just in the interest of a few to the detriment of the many?
The entire thing just reeks of the politics of privilege. Houses of the rich and connected were built long after the raceway was there. It's a bit like building near the airport and complaining about airplanes taking off. It has been promised to the rich and connected that the drag strip would be "taken care of." Now, when the city is pinched for funds on every front, it is going to buy land and try to make it a park. Just what happens when it costs more than they anticipated to make the land a park. Does that now open up the way to a private developer coming in to "save the day"? Could that be the ultimate goal? City acquires land, then discovers it can't afford to do anything with it; looks for "White Knight" to rescue them?
If it actually does become park land, can the city afford to maintain and police it? I am not sure if it is in East Patrol or South Patrol but either way, how many many minutes will it take for an officer to respond to a crime there? There are some pretty nasty sex businesses not far from there; some of that will no doubt move to the erstwhile park. I would not be surprised to see dumping of construction junk and other garbage become a big problem too.
Of course, those "with a need for speed" will find other outlets for their need. Some might go to Topeka. Some may not go that far...
As I said before, the swells might wake up in 5-10 years and discover that the race track was a pretty good neighbor after all.
I like this post from Tony; it contains images of ordinance fact sheets that contain no concrete facts. (Where have we seen that before--I see that former MAST person raising their hand!)
Here is the Kansas City Star article that got me going today. Read the comments (if they are still there; the Star has an annoying habit of making comments go away. I actually copied the comments onto my computer.)
A statement from one of the KCIR principles describing the rock-and-hard-place the business investors and owners found themselves in.
A nice story from KCTV done in September 2011 on KCIR and its racing series for the common man. The video is cool.