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NASCAR track task force to be formed

The Kitsap County commissioners will assemble a task force to examine all aspects of the International Speedway Corp.’s proposal to locate a racetrack in Kitsap County, soliciting experts from financial and environmental areas.

“This will be a full team,” said Central Kitsap Commissioner Patty Lent. “We want them to advise the county as to how to move forward. We don’t want to make errors and assume things. We want to go forward with the right information, and we will pay for this.”

The ISC proposal is expected sometime in October, according to spokesman Stann Tate. Lent said there was no schedule for establishing the task force, but she said that a Sept. 6 open meeting would provide much of the information needed to recruit the proper people.

“We will have a team of experts that will look at any bond issues and the entire fiscal package, as well as the environmental aspects,” she said. “With this, we will be able to determine exactly what it will cost.”

Lent said the task force would be of a temporary nature and be comprised of “people with whom we have worked before.”

After ISC failed to locate a racetrack in Snohomish County, it changed its strategy for its second run, this time in Kitsap.

“We learned from our mistakes,” said ISC spokesman Stann Tate. “But we are now working to get all our ducks in a row.”

ISC’s biggest misstep its first time around, he believes, was going public with its intention to locate in Snohomish County before actually securing the land. This drove up the price of the parcel in question, and landfill issues made the cost impractical.

In Kitsap, ISC secured an option on the land in question before going public. It also changed captains, bringing in vice president Grant Lynch to head the project.

“He had a lot more experience in this kind of thing,” Tate said.

The initial commissioners’ listening session will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Sept. 6 at Klahowya High School in Silverdale.

Another prior meeting, concentrating on the track’s business potential, is scheduled for Aug. 30, when the Bremerton Port Orchard and Silverdale Chambers of Commerce is sponsoring a lunch meeting at the Red Lion Hotel in Silverdale.

This will feature a panel discussion conducted by industry and tourism experts. These includes Cindy Cash of the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Bridgette Jobe of the Kansas City Visitors and Convention Bureau, Ralph Morton of the Seattle Sports Council, Kitsap Peninsula Economic Council Executive Director Grant Griffin, KEDC Executive Director David Porter and Stann Tate.

The Chamber of Commerce luncheon requires reservations and a ticket; $20 for Chamber members and $25 for non members.

For reservations call (360) 479-3579.

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