|Updated: 2/29/2012 10:19 am
||Published: 2/28/2012 11:15 pm
Loud noise, dust and traffic could be coming to one neighborhood in rural Bartlesville.
"We are going to do everything we can to not have it rezoned commercial,” said Bartlesville neighbor John Shambles.
However, the owner of a proposed dirt track speedway wants to set the record straight before he goes in front of Osage County officials.
Tuesday night, Bill McMurtrie held a neighborhood meeting for the proposed Black Gold Speedway near Osage Casino in Bartlesville.
He and his brother started building the track on Bill’s 200 acres of land zoned as agriculture land in late December but the county put the brakes on the track.
"I’ve done this since I was 14 years old,” said Bill McMurtrie. “This is everything I've wanted to do."
McMurtrie and his brother Robert made a deal with they were teens to stay out of trouble.
"We wouldn't smoke, we wouldn't drink, and we would have race cars. It's turned into a life long passion and we know nothing but race cars,” said race promoter Robert McMurtrie.
Then last Christmas, Bill had a vision.
"Woke up one more morning and we decided it would measure out and build a race track,” said Bill McMurtrie.
Construction stopped about three weeks ago when the county said he needed a permit to keep building the track.
"It's been an ongoing battle,” said the owner.
Neighbors across the canyon and across the road are against the idea of a track on their street.
"It's going to be terrible for the neighborhood,” said Shambles.
Shambles also lives about a half of a mile from Osage Casino.
"It would be worse than have a casino,” said Shambles.
To set the record straight, the owner held a public meeting for neighbors and those concerned about the track.
"We feel like we are being judged before we have been given a chance,” said Bill McMurtrie.
The speedway would have races on Friday nights and till 11 p.m. During a race McMurtrie says there would be 18 to 22 cars on the track.
In the crowd of supporters who traveled from Kansas, one person spoke out against the track.
Roger Walker is a neighbor and concerned about the noise.
"I like to listen to the birds. I like to watch the deer,” said Walker.
The owners said they measured the decibels from one hundred feet from the track.
It measured about 96 decibels, which is quieter than a law mower.
One neighbor who says he is one of the closest families to live near the track doesn’t mind the track being so close to his home.
“Since the casino is already there we got the track let's do it,” said Bill Thompson.
No matter what the owners do to keep the noise and traffic down, Walker said he still doesn’t support a track in his neighborhood.
"I knew I would be against it before I came and there was nothing said here that changed my mind,” said Walker.
The owner says even with opposition they will fight for their dream.
"We are not going to give up. That is not our attitude that is why we are racers,” said Bill McMurtrie.
A public hearing will be held at Osage County Board of Adjustments at 6 p.m. located at 628 Kihekah Avenue. Pawhuska, OK.
If the Board grants the conditional variance permit, the McMurtries are planning to have the speedway open by May.