Editorial: Devil in the details

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 5, 2008

Be glad that Bruton Smith did not bring his drag way to Rowan County, as some invited him to do when he faced a dispute with Concord over the project.
The drag way opens this month, but Smith’s wrangling drags on.
The Charlotte Observer reported last week that Smith’s not satisfied with details of the $80 million incentives deal Concord and Cabarrus agreed to last year. He wants to tweak it.
For instance, Smith would like to be compensated within three years for road and other improvements in the area ó rather than 40 years, as local officials said ó and be paid interest if the payments take longer. He doesn’t want to be held to the expectation that the speedway and drag strip continue running for at least 40 years and host at least three top NASCAR races a year. And he’s crossing out the requirement that he spend $200 million within three years on speedway improvements.
Details, details.
This is just a counteroffer; negotiations will continue. But Smith obviously is a man accustomed to getting what he wants. Good luck to Concord and Cabarrus leaders as they try to nail down details that are acceptable to Smith yet don’t stick it to lowly taxpayers with less clout.