Grain Valley track owner will learn the fate of his speedway on Thursday

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GRAIN VALLEY, Mo. -- The owner of Valley Speedway is waiting to hear the fate of his track. Thursday night the Grain Valley Board of Alderman will hold a hearing to consider revoking Valley Speedway's permit because of noise complaints.

It has been nearly a year since we first brought you the story. Speedway owner Dennis Shrout said he's been doing all he can to bring the sound levels in compliance in that time. He was first applied for a special use permit back in 2003, which stated he had to keep the noise level at 65 decibels at the property line.

That's about the sound of normal conversation, but that's what was agreed to. He previously showed us an independent study that he paid for, which shows levels to be at about 65 decibels at the property line on race nights.

But last year the city received complaints that it was still too noisy, and they wanted the noise level taken down even more.

“There's nothing that leads me to believe they want a track here. They can say what they want to, but there's nothing they've done to indicate they want a track here," Shrout said.

Shrout said since last year’s meeting he’s done things like put mufflers on the cars and cut racing back to just one night a week, which is cut into his profit by 40 percent. The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday.

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26 comments

  • Concerned Citizen

    I lived on the north side of I-70 in Grain Valley which is probably a mile and a half from the speedway, and I could still hear the racetrack from my patio. Which means that I am hearing the track over the interstate noise. A year ago, we moved to the south side of Grain Valley and are less than a mile away from the track, and the sound is much quieter. You really have to listen for it. Unfortunately I think the speedway is just in a bad location. There is no rhyme or reason why I should be able to hear it from across the interstate, but move closer to the track and barely hear anything.

    That being said, I think the track should stay until every resource is exhausted. Its cheap entertainment and I have to imagine that it brings good money to local restaurants and gas stations- possibly local bars as well. To me, if you’re trying to build a small community, then you need attractions to bring people in.. Not force them out.

    • Concerned Citizen

      Let me add that my son has football practice within walking distance to the speedway. The sound is NOT overpowering.. My wife and I can easily have a quiet conversation and hear each other fine during practices. From the sidelines, we can also hear our teams coach talk to the kids as they run drills. Talk, not yelling. I truly believe that the readings from the property line are correct.. It has something to do with being in the valley that allows the sound to travel..

      • Concerned Citizen

        I meant bad location as in, in the valley. Not next to houses.. Truthfully, there aren’t too many houses within half a mile of the track.. The big neighborhood is probably a mile or more away. And like I said above, it doesn’t matter how far away you are.. We recently moved closer to the track and hear it less that we did when we were north of the interstate and 2 miles away. For whatever reason, the sound just carries.

      • Scott

        That is what has happened all over the country. I race a drag boat and every year we lose water rights because someone is whining about noise. It is just totally ridiculous! We only race at each location 1 weekend a year and get flack about noise!

  • JenLamb35

    This track has been here for YEARS. I’d like to know how many complainers had their home BEFORE the track went in (I have a feeling it’s not even a handful). These are new home buyers I can bet. The track was there before they were. Just like the GV Airport – new homeowners try every few years to shut it down due to noise. It’s ridiculous. Do your research before you buy a house!!! I lived in Grain Valley for a couple of years. The airport was basically across the road from me and the track was about 1/2 from me. Neither every bothered me while I was outside in my yard. These people are being way overdramatic. It’s 20 nights a year people (maybe less with rainouts). Get over it!

  • Ben

    Dennis Shrout must be very astute. People are complaining about the noise and he concludes that they don’t want the track to exist. He is right. People probably don’t want the track and now it is time for it to go. It serves no useful purpose and it puts out too much noise as well as it pollutes the air. The neighbors have a right to live peacefully without all those cars roaring around the track. Close it down!

    • Carol

      There are plenty of people who want the track there. It serves a very useful purpose, as it is entertainment for those who enjoy the races. It is inexpensive family entertainment, with drivers that carry on the tradition through their families. You don’t like the races, don’t go! I have been there many times and the complaints about the noise are a joke! The train that passes through is louder than the cars. Are you going to have the railroad tracks moved too because it’s too loud? Leave the track, the owner, the drivers, and the fans in peace, and quit complaining!

    • Whitlea

      Your own vehicle pollutes the air. Why don’t you sell yours? Seriously. It’s fun to watch the races. I live next to train tracks and I’m not trying to get those shut down. It’s noise. Get over it.

  • Ben

    If the neighbors start moving out and others don’t want to live in that community because they have heard of the noise issues, be prepared for tax increases. Close the track and build houses to make up for any taxes lost from the track. The noise and the air pollution are not worth all the trouble.

    • Concerned Citizen

      Its not so cut and dried Ben.. There are certain areas of that community that cannot hear the race track, and other areas that it sounds like the track is a block away. The article says that the agreement was to get the noise under 65 decibels at the property line.. They have done that according to the article. I have never met Mr. Shrout, but by the sound of it, he has done everything the city has asked to get the noise level down. Which is funny in and of itself considering that Grain Valley doesn’t have a noise ordinance.. Or at least they didn’t as of a year ago.

    • Diana

      It’s his property. Who are you to tell him to sell it and build houses!? It’s cheap entertainment and keeps kids off the streets. It’s a small business that employs people. You are what’s wrong with America. If you don’t care about it then it doesn’t matter. Please don’t bread.

  • GV Lifer

    I’ve lived in this town for 35 years…far longer than that race track has been here. Newsflash! This is (or WAS) “Small Town USA”. We like our race track just fine, thank you. If you came to Grain Valley looking to get away from big city problems, and raise your kids in a small town, well…this is just how it is. I’m tired of all these new people coming into this town and making changes they have no business having any part of. They want to live in a small town, but have all the city amenities. Too freaking bad! Love it, or get the hell out!

  • ads

    I have lived in GV most of my life I think the track should stay! It’s not an every night thing, causes fewer problems than the 5 bars in town, and it brings in quite a bit of revenue. The people that are complaining need to realize our taxes WILL INCREASE if it’s shut down! Wish all the complainers would put a cork in it!

  • JM

    Well I hate to be the doom and gloom person but what happens when the city gets sued for MILLIONS in lost revenue when they kick them out…???? So remember that when your taxes quadruple for the next 20 years to pay off the lawsuit…. What they should be doing is helping them berm up a sound deflection barrier around the thing with excess fill material from construction projects…. sound bounces…. bounce it in the direction you want – away from the city… as in UP ….. but then that would be the logical thing to do and we know that seldom happens. This is just a macro economic incident that reflects what’s happened to the manufacturing industry that WAS in America… Cities and states ran then out as they were dirty and smelly. Now about all we have is a service industry running off the old money that was around during the manufacturing boom! Really… how many people do you know that actually MAKE something at their job?… beside subs and deli sandwiches….

  • Jasper DiCarlo

    That sad Thay what close down the speedway I live in grain valley on harvest cir I don’t mind the noise . The owner try make money to take care of his family make a living think people in town should support him it hard for family business these day keep going . If he go out business what is grain valley do for enterament for outside enjoyment . I know people go the speedway thay enjoy there self have fun . Fun watch guy race there cars around track . And watch the mosnter trucks have . Hope he can stay open . I do support speedway stay open

  • TheTruth

    I was at the meeting last year when this same thing came up. A few facts..

    A) Both the Mayor and Track agreeded that the 65 decibel number was one that was just taken at random and agreeded on by the previous track owner and previous Grain Valley City Leaders. They (including the Mayor) agreeded that back then there was no study or effort done to determine what 65 decibels even was. It was basically a number grabbed out of the air to write on a special use permit.

    B) At that meeting last year the Mayor, City Council and Track Officials agreeded that the 65 decibel number was unfair and a compromise that could work for both party’s should be discussed and worked out. FACT,, since then the City has never compromised like they said. They continue to stick to the 65 decibel number. With the gall to accuse the track owner of not wanting to compromise.

    C) Facts… Standard conversation is approximately 64 dB, Lawn Mower is rated at 90 dB, a freight train produces 89 dB, a passenger car at 65 mph (77 dB); freeway at 10AM(76 dB), Living room music (76 dB); radio or TV-audio, vacuum cleaner (70 dB).

    D) The track paid for and produced to the city an EPA sound study that showed noise level ratings at the property line to be at 66dB. The Mayor himself said he hadn’t looked at that. It was in his hands for at least 2 weeks and at the same time he was saying that the track had not done their part by paying for an independent sound study.

    E) If Mayor Mike Todd had done some reasearch talking to Mayors of town’s like Knoxville, Iowa, Wheatland, Missouri, Terre Haute, Indiana etc etc he could have found out exactly how supporting a track in your town could lead to more development and buisness in the town.

  • Larry

    Every time I turn around. I hear about another track being shut down. If it’s not race cars, it is motocross tracks. Aren’t we allowed as power sports enthusiasts to have fun anywhere ? Geez this is ridiculous !!!
    Every home owner has a right to peace and quiet. But this is taking it too far. This is why small business is so tough in our country. They (whiners) won’t give up until they ruin it for all of us.

  • mike

    The people of Grain Valley should be glad that anyone would go to, or stop-for any reason in that po-dunk town. Everybody has to complain about something. It makes me sick to see the track in ruins, we drive by often and I wonder why someone doesn’t do something with an actual paved short track, instead of dirt. Who wants to eat dirt and have to take a shower after a night of racing? People need to get over it.
    Now I see the marquee is covered by some lame-assed advertisement for a obstacle course.

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