Tribune-Courier General Manager
Fiscal Court will hold a public hearing before considering a request for variances in the entertainment permit for Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway.
Officials of the dirt racetrack had requested permission to rent the track to competitors and other clients for private test sessions, and have also had inquiries about other activities including a Christian music concert and a circus.
The activities would be conducted on a day other than the Saturday night racing schedule already allowed by the original permit issued in March.
Speedway co-owner Jim Hale of Hopkinsville appeared before a special called meeting of the county governing body.
“We have companies wanting to test tires and shock absorbers on cars,” Hale said. “Basically they push a car to its limits to see what they can do to improve.”
Hale said testing of cars would occur during daylight hours on Mondays.
“It costs us over $1,100 for electricity on Saturday night,” he said. “We sure don’t want to be running tests at night. But if a driver wants to pay us $1,200 or $1,500 to test a car, we’d like to be able to do that.”
Hale said the speedway owners have also been in discussion with a Christian Music Association to hold a concert sometime during 2015-2016 on a Thursday or Friday night.
He indicated the track’s ownership is interested in using the venue for other events which will open a new stream of revenue and bring visitors to the county.
Judge Executive Mike Miller sought input from County Attorney Jeff Edwards, who advised the request constituted an expanded parameter of the track’s original permit. He advised that another public hearing be conducted prior to the court’s consideration of the requests.
Hale told the court he would have the track’s attorney draft a request detailing the track’s needs.
Miller said he would schedule another public forum on the issue as soon as that request is received.
Miller also cautioned Hale that he has issued a warning to the track’s attorney concerning a June event in which racing extended beyond the 11:30 p.m. time limit.
“For the most part, as far as I can see, you’ve stayed within your limits,” said Miller. “But you did run over 15 minutes and I’ve given a verbal warning to your attorney and the gentleman who does your P.R. I fully expect if this happens again, your license is in danger,” said Miller.
Miller acknowledged a county ambulance had arrived late to the raceway, causing the start of racing to be delayed, but again reiterated under the terms of the permit.