Large turnout expected for racetrack hearing

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Spencer board meeting tonight By Steve Huffman
SPENCER ó Members of the Spencer Board of Aldermen will meet tonight to hold a public hearing concerning the proposed High Rock Raceway.
The board’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting has been bumped up to 6 p.m. because of the public hearing. Aldermen usually hold their meetings at 7 p.m.
Mayor Jody Everhart said he anticipates a large turnout for tonight’s meeting.
The public hearing concerns a proposed development agreement between the town and raceway officials. Aldermen said the 28-page agreement relieves the town of a number of liabilities pertaining to the racetrack.
For instance, the agreement specifies track owners will be responsible for matters pertaining to water and sewer connections to the track. Property easements will also be the track’s responsibility.
A copy of the proposed agreement is available at Town Hall for those wishing to have a look.
The agreement calls for a 20-year working relationship between the raceway and the town. The agreement was presented to aldermen at a special meeting last month. They wanted a public hearing before addressing the matter.
Dave Risdon, High Rock’s chief executive officer, told aldermen the track’s developer, Thomas Senenfelder of New York City’s TMS Inc., said financing is in place and grading for the facility might start before the end of May, providing the town throws its support behind the work.
Risdon said as part of the agreement, former employees of N.C. Finishing Inc., the textile plant that stood on the site, will be reimbursed any money they lost in the plant’s closing. Risdon said $87,000 owed the workers through past 401(k) contributions was reimbursed about six months ago. He said an additional $102,000 owed for two weeks of lost wages will be paid before dirt is moved at the site of the proposed track.