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‘Noise’ over Valley Speedway gets louder

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GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- Fans of the Valley Speedway in Grain Valley turned out in big numbers Wednesday night after hearing that the track could be in jeopardy of closing down the line.

It's estimated that nearly 100,000 people come check out Valley Speedway's tracks each year, according to owner Dennis Shrout.

"They bring their kids out. This is something they used to do with their father, their dad and they're creating another tradition for their kids," Shrout said.

In addition to the track, Shrout says people stop at local stores and gas stations on race nights.

"That adds up to $1.5 million, $2 million of money being spent in this town and, of course, the city gets the revenue or part of the tax revenue off that income."

Currently, race tracks aren't even permitted in Grain Valley. But in 2003, Valley Speedway was given a "conditional use" permit, allowing them to operate.

One of those conditions, however, was to keep the decibel level at 65 at the property line.

Normal conversation is about 65 decibels.

Even so, Shrout said his testing three years ago showed levels no higher than 66 decibels on race night. But, the city has gotten enough complaints to have its Community Development Committee look into them.

"I don't want to see the track leave, but I do want it to quiet down so I can enjoy my backyard," one resident told FOX 4.

Dozens of others showed support for the speedway, citing noise congestion from other places like nearby Interstate 70, trains and the airport.

Wednesday night they were given four options:

  • The committee may decide to enforce the regulations with no change. That would mean a ticket for Valley Speedway, each time levels exceed 65 decibels.
  • The committee could decide to change the decibel level portion of the conditional use permit.
  • It could amend the permit which would revoke the current permit, forcing Valley Speedway to apply for a different permit that has some controls in place.
  •  The committee could also vote to simply revoke the current conditional use permit, finding Valley Speedway out of compliance.

Shrout told FOX 4 if those recommendations lead to his racetrack closing, he will sue the city.

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