Drag strip proponent brings new plan to Commission

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 First at Five, August 7, 2007

Augusta GA---Don Matthews has lived in South Augusta for over 60 years. He calls the proposed dragstip a bad idea. He says, "You are going to bring a lot of traffic, noise, and a lot of other stuff I don't think we need." Leo Charette was hoping to bring new life to the drag strip. He went before the Augusta commission Tuesday with a new sanctioning party, the National Hot Rod Association, and a new site off of Hephzibah-Mcbean road.

Drag strip proponent Leo Charette says, "Hopefully they will understand that this is going to help the city of Augusta and it won't harm folks as bad as they claim it will." That is one suggestion Commissioner Jimmy Smith called into question in Tuesday's meeting. He says, "I resent the fact that...you come to Richmond county and ask us to spend tax dollars to build you a race track."

Meanwhile, Mayor Copenhaver maintains he is not sold on the project. He says, "I am not ready to say I am in favor of it by any means. I think there are still a lot of questions to be answered at this point." Those questions are regarding zoning and the city plans to recoup the proposed 4.7 million dollar debt. As for Mr. Matthews, he says, "We can beat. We will band together and fight it."

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  • by John Location: Twin Lakes Airpark on Aug 18, 2007 at 01:12 PM
    I have been involved in Motor Sports for 47 years. 20 years in NASCAR and 27 years in IHRA and NHRA Drag Racing. And I am still a Race Team owner today. I really do not care if Richmond County has A Drag Racing Facility or not. What I do care about, is people running a sport and it's people down when they do not even understand it. All drag racing events are started with bowing ones head down in prayer, followed by the National Anthem, on days we race on Sunday; there is nondenominational church service before any racing begins. Top drag racing teams as in all of motorsports must have sponsorships from private companies and corporations; you will find that these teams have a near flawless record of conduct and behavior, far beyond that of any other professional sports. Drag Racing is a Family oriented sport, starting with Jr. Dragster at age 7 thru 17, And in addition to this both IHRA and NHRA sanctioning body are deeply involved with working with our young people and local authorities, to give the young people a save place to race that is not on our public streets. Also as a team owner I would not stand for any participant to be under the influence of anything and take part in a race. We race all over the Southeastern United States and we do not know of any tracks that even sell alcohol beverages where we race.
  • by bob Location: mcbean on Aug 10, 2007 at 01:44 PM
    my family have been in south augusta for 35 years. i have been witness to many improvements to our small community a papermill where i worked, credit union where i banked good schools for my childen a fire department to protect us and a great community center that serves the old and young. i know this was brought about by good goverment leadership so what happened to that leadership to allow someone from another county to force a dragstrip on our community
  • by LINDA Location: MCBEAN on Aug 10, 2007 at 01:00 PM
  • by Arnold Pierce Location: Augusta on Aug 9, 2007 at 06:27 PM
    Okay! Thats understandable. However, how can you add another issue (Sex Offender) when the article is talking about plans of a new drag strip. You are combinding two issues in one and I dont think that it is irrelevant. People are trying hard to bring change in the city of Augusta however, its seems like majority of the city is declining everything that will help build up city census. Majority of this city complians about there is nothing here or that the city do not sponsor major events. Consequetly, this shows that the city of Augusta, lacks attraction, retail, businesses, education and future residences.
  • by john taylor Location: hephzibah on Aug 9, 2007 at 01:33 PM
    I think it it ridiclous to expect the people of Hephzibah especially those who live in front of the site to be overjoyed. what the county is not taking into consideration is the decrease in property value, and the rezoning issues. The people who live on Heph Mcbean road chose this property for a reason and that reason was peace and quite away from the crowded augusta area. There is no way that this will not affect the lives of people in this community. Also the comissioners are not taking the sex offender act in to account. There is a small community center where children play untill 8 or 9 at night. How will they enforce the sex offender act then? They will not be able to regulate who comes to the drag strip are we to tell the children that they can't play at the park? What about the people who live right in front of the strip are they going to keep patrons from parking in our yards? Maybe Mr. Chareete should build the strip in his back yard. Instead of mine,.
  • by Arnold Pierce Location: Augusta on Aug 8, 2007 at 11:33 AM
    You are right Chris Robinson. If the people of Augusta want this city to grow, we need bigger and better things that will attract future residences. I believe that for Augusta to be the second largest metropolitan city we need to step up and learn how to work together. I believe that Columbia County is growing continuously because the people there know how to work together. If our commissioners can learn a little from Columbia County commissioners maybe Augusta will be able move forward in the years to come.
  • by chris robinson Location: augusta on Aug 8, 2007 at 05:06 AM
    augusta needs some thing like this to atract more pople its only one day to two day out the week.We complain about we dont have anything in augusta but whe some one try to bring some thing new we shut it down. I rather have the track out there then a baseball field down town.Lets think you rather spend 20million on a baseball park then 4.5 millon on a track. Either way its tax payers money but i would go with the track.Is the commissoner a ball fan or race fan.
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