Racetrack proposal stalled until 2007

International Speedway Corp. will not attempt to pass a bill in support of a bond issue during this year’s state legislative session and has instead postponed action on the matter until 2007, when its leaders believe they can generate more across-the-board support.

Draft legislation has already been written and distributed to several lawmakers for their consideration, according to ISC vice president Grant Lynch.

“In our disussions with leadership, it was evident that they didn’t want to consider it this year,” Lynch said. “But more people will see the benefits of this next year.”

Lynch and other racetrack backers profess optimism about the project’s chances, saying the coming year will give them extra time to generate support for the measure. At the same time, they admit that the time will give racetrack opponents time to consolidate their opposition.

“People need to learn the facts about what this can do for the community,” said Kisap Economic Development Council Executive Director David Porter.

Added Convention and Visitor’s Bureau head Grant Griffin, “The opposition will boil down to single issues, which we will be able to address individually.”

Rich Johnson, president of ISC affiliate Great Western Sports, said ISC has opened a local office at 3121 Kitsap Way, Suite 2, in Bremerton, from which it will distribute information and support material, including yard signs, about the project.

Johnson is supervising the ISC petition drive, during which supporters will be asked to fill out individually addressed forms ins support of the track. The assembled names will then be used as support and will probably be presented to the Legislature.

Johnson said strong support has already emerged from Pierce, Kitsap and Mason counties.

The project also received a boost from U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Belfair), who said, “I hope the Legislature takes action. I live five minutes from the site, and can tell you it will have nothing but a positive impact on Pierce and Kitsap counties.”

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