Motocross race moves
“Initial survey results indicated the top portion of the track could be on national forest land,” she said. “Before we say that, we really do need to complete the survey work.”
Once they finish the third point they will have exact details of how much of the motocross facilities are on public land.
She said forest officials are waiting for funding to complete the survey. Once the survey delineates how much of the motocross park in on public land, PNF officials will request the property owner move the trail, tanks and other facilities off national forest land.
Taylor said she did not know when the forest will get funding for the survey but officials did put a request in to the regional office. The survey may be funded this fiscal year or next, which begins in October.
Until then, Park Owners are moving the September race. Rather than wait for the county “to force us into something or back us into a corner” or take “sort of action to halt us in our tracks,” motocross park owner Larry Wosick said he and his wife, Lise, have cancelled the September race at the park and moved the event to a track in Marysville.
Wosick said the uncertainty of the county’s actions and rumors that county officials may try to block future events at the park forced the couple to move the race to avoid losing their reputation in the motocross industry.
“They could help us or they could not,” Wosick said. “We’re at the point now we’ve given six years to the community and we don’t need this. We love it. It’s enriched our lives … but there’s only so much, too, you could take. … I guess the future of the park lies with the Board of Supervisors. People need to look closely at what they do.”
A 2003 court order settling a neighbor’s lawsuit over excessive noise from motocross races states the track cannot operate without noise monitoring. After the board rejected the Wosicks’ offer to pay less than half the costs, its members voted on Tuesday, July 17 to collect the full amount the county spent to comply with the court order.
Lassen County Treasurer Richard Egan sent Park owners Larry and Lise Wosick a bill in May for $135,000 worth of noise monitoring between June 1, 2004, and Nov. 16, 2006. The bill Egan sent did not include the cost of noise monitoring in 2007, according to a letter, dated July 18, County Counsel R. Craig Settlemire sent the Wosick’s attorney, John S. Kenny, of Redding.
The Wosicks responded by offering the county $57,600, which would leave county taxpayers to foot the remaining $77,400 the county paid Wilson, Ihrig and Associates to monitor noise at the motocross park.
The Wosicks based their offer, according to a July 18 letter Larry Wosick wrote to this newspaper, on what they paid a noise-monitoring firm known as Brown-Buntin, which wrote Noise Element of the Lassen County General Plan, to monitor noise four years ago.
“This figure was apparently arrived at by taking the total number of events monitored by Wilson, Ihrig on behalf of the county (32 in number, counting six in 2007) and multiplying it by the $1,800 per event the Wosicks allege they paid Brown-Buntin in 2003,” Settlemire’s letter said.
Wosick’s letter said he did not expect the county to pay “my monitoring bills,” but did “expect the county to be held responsible for the excess costs due to reckless spending on the ridiculous scope of monitoring they were doing.” He added, “This facility brings in enough tourism and revenue even if it does cost the county a bit for the mistake.”
Since Brown-Buntin monitored only one side of the track on one day of each two-day event, it did not meet the court order that the track “shall not operate without noise monitoring,” Settlemire wrote. If the Wosicks had figured the total for monitoring every day, he would have offered $115,200, Settlemire’s letter said.
Wosick said Brown Buntin monitored one full day of racing on Sunday, the busiest day with the most racers. He said Saturday is more like a practice day. When the county took over the noise monitoring, Wosick said it suddenly tripled the cost of the noise monitoring when nothing ever showed what the park owners were doing was not satisfactory to the court.
“The worst that could have happened would have been for the court to say you need to do a little more,” he said last week.
“I believe the board chose not to accept my offer because they would be admitting fault in allowing reckless spending,” Wosick wrote. “Rather than own up to errors in judgment by the county, they wish to stick me with the entire bill to save face.”
When the county offered to allow the Wosicks to arrange for noise monitoring, the letter said, “the Wosicks flatly disregarded the county’s suggestions and went ahead with monitoring by Brown-Buntin,” a firm the judge rejected, according to Settlemire.
After the county requested a copy, the Wosicks refused in an October 2003 letter to Senior Planner Rick Simon, claiming the results were “being generated at the Wosicks’ own expense for their use in future litigation.” It finally received the results more than 18 months later, in June 2005, according to Settlemire’s letter.
The county notified the track owners in August 2003 it was sending out a request for bids for noise monitoring services to assure compliance with the court order. Wosick said the county sent a request for a proposal to Brown-Buntin. The county monitoring program began in the 2004 motocross racing season.
“In June of 2004 I advised the county their monitoring program would effectively close me down,” Wosick wrote, adding former County Administrative Officer Bill Bixby promised the county would take the case back to court for clarification of the scope of monitoring the court required.
Settlemire’s letter claims the Wosicks’ attorney indicated he planned to take the matter back to court on numerous occasions, so the county never filed a motion for clarification. Since the court order identified the county as responsible for the noise monitoring, Wosick said he thinks the county must take the dispute back to court.
Though the Wosicks claim there is little difference in the results from the two noise-monitoring firms, Settlemire had a different take on the results. His letter said Brown-Buntin found no instances in which motocross races exceeded the limits set by the noise element.
But Wilson, Ihrig found 74 exceedences during the first year it monitored.
The conditional use permit that allows the motocross park to operate incorporated the limits in the noise element and the court judgment required the park to operate within those limits at all times.
Settlemire said he is preparing to file a request asking the court to force the motocross park owners to pay the outstanding noise monitoring costs.
Wosick said the park owners decided to move the race to give them time to “get the word out to people who travel from 1,000 miles away. We needed time because people make plans well in advance to come here. (We did it) basically because it’s so unknown what’s going to happen with the county; we have no faith that they’re going to do.”
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