Legislators to hear racetrack plea

A legislative fact-finding meeting will take place later this month in Seattle to give representatives of the International Speedway Corp. a chance to present their case for construction of a NASCAR facility in Kitsap County.

“ISC didn’t get the opportunity to present their case in front of the Legislature this year,” said Lt. Gov. Brad Owen, who is organizing the meeting. “So this is their chance to tell us what they have in mind. It’s an opportunity for them to speak and for the public to listen.”

The meeting is to take place at 2:30 p.m. on May 31 at the Port of Seattle office on Pier 69.

The event is a meeting of the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations, which Owen uses to explore new opportunities for the state.

“This will be an informational session, where ISC can discuss what we are proposing,” said Tim Thompson, a Tacoma-based consultant working with ISC. “We never introduced legislation last year, so this is a story that has not been heard. We will present the economic benefits in front of the legislators, in the hope of getting their support.”

ISC Vice President Grant Lynch is expected to testify. Thompson said the company has invited several advocates — such as Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius — but could not confirm their appearance as of Thursday afernoon.

Owen said he expected U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Tacoma) would attend, along with other local legislators. While some racetrack opponents will be invited to address the group, there will no opportunity for public testimony.

Last month, ISC announced it would need to receive tangible indications of public and legislative support in order to proceed with the project. Thompson said ISC would assess the situation after the meeting to determine the level of support and the chances for success.

“We look forward to having a good discussion,” Thompson said. “Every day that goes by, we get more support and endorsements.”

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