HARPERSFIELD - New information brought to light by neighbors of a planned motorcycle safety facility in the town of Harpersfield has town officials concerned enough to consult with the town attorney and to seek verification of the information, which might be considered outside the realm of the facility’s site plan approval.
Concerned residents from the town of Harpersfield and Davenport once again presented their concerns about New York Safety Track LLC, which has site plan approval to operate a motorcycle safety training facility at the former Mountaintop Air Field off Zimmerman Road in the town of Harpersfield.
A paved 2.1 mile track has been constructed and neighbors fear when it opens next spring it will be operating outside the bounds of its original site plan to the town’s planning board.
Last month residents were present to ask about issues of concern over New York Safety Track LLC, reporting race cars have been seen using the track and there are postings on Facebook regarding conversations with racing enthusiasts. They contended it showed cars and other forms of racing.
This month, they said they have proof there are plans to hold car racing events at the site.
Harpersfield resident Michael Blaine said he was very appreciative of the Hapersfield Town Board for listening to their concerns. However, he said, they continue to be concerned and he asked the town to send a letter to the town attorney.
Blaine said he had talked to an insurance agent and a lawyer about personal injuries at the track which could result in someone filing a suit against the town. Typically, a waiver is signed by a participant absolving the track owners from liability. However, he said, the town has to show the site plan was enforced or it would also become liable and is asking the town to be proactive.
He also asked the hypothetical question that if the use does change from motorcycle safety training to competitive racing, would it require a revisiting of the site plan and would the town’s planning board have the power to say no to the proposal.
Even if the course is used for safety training, it is still “inherently dangerous” said Davenport resident Dana LaCroix. She wonders if the track is insured and if there can be an addendum to specify there is insurance coverage.
“We really want to get a realistic view of this dangerous liability in our town. None of us know if there is insurance and who the broker is...”
Davenport resident Kitty Ballard said Lubininsky, the track’s manager, is attempting to contract with Cooperstown Medical Transport to have two ambulances at the site.
LaCroix reiterated the issue is on a collision course, with the track due to open next May and conflicting information about enforcement of the site plan and the track’s use. She went on to say it is not just a concern for the neighbors, but it is a concern for the town. She said it is the town’s responsibility to protect the towns of Harpersfield and Davenport and the residents of Delaware County.
She said she has information the track’s owners have contracted with the Eastern Motorcycle Racing Association to hold an event in June 2013 for car racing. “ I spoke to the chairman who said he has made a substantial deposit for a sanctioned car racing event,” said LaCroix.
On The Formula Race Car Club of America website’s 2013 Race Schedule an event is listed for June 22 and 23 at NYSafety Track.
LaCroix said the concern is that if the club comes in June and holds this race and there should be an accident while racing on the track, there is no site plan for racing and if they determine the town is not enforcing the site plan, it could result in a lawsuit.
“On the one hand you have the town supervisor saying there is no racing and no cars and on the other hand you have the track owner taking a deposit from a racing association,” said Jakob Rosboll. “He’s selling something that’s not on the shelf.”
“What Lubinitsky is doing is misrepresenting you folks,” said Blaine. “He’s using you to make money when there are absolute limitations.”
Eisel said he would consult with the town attorney and have him write a letter to the racing association and he would check on the insurance issue.
A petition with more than 45 signatures has been presented asking to be on last Tuesday’s agenda to discuss the liability concerns. The petition seeks proof the track is currently insured, the name of the company, copies of the policy and its identification number. It also asks the town to enforce the site plan and make it clear to the track operators that motorcycle/car racing have not and will not be sanctioned in the town of Harpersfield.
And before leaving, another resident said Lubinitsky has put up electrical outlets for RVs and erected lights.