Madison — September 21, 2004 — Responding to a petition signed by 79 Madison residents expressing “significant concern” over the motor track proposed to be built on historic Mount Whittier, Madison officials have sent a letter to Tamworth’s Selectmen asking that they declare their “official stand as a Board” and the reasons behind that stand.
In the letter, Madison Board of Selectmen chairman John Arruda says his Board has a need “to address [the] concerns brought forward by our citizens.” Arruda also said that Madison officials will meet with CMI and the citizens group Focus:Tamworth to obtain “direct information from all parties concerned and not from the local news media.”
The Madison Board’s letter, sent earlier this month, appears to be the first instance of officials in a neighboring town stating their intent to determine on their own whether the proposed track for racing high-performance cars and motorcycles is likely to have an impact beyond Tamworth’s borders. In July, the Tamworth Planning Board cited the track’s potential for regional impact when it sent a notice to neighboring towns and invited them to attend a wetlands hearing on the issue. Ossipee’s Selectmen publicly declined to become involved, saying it was “a Tamworth matter.” Freedom’s Board of Selectmen has not made a public statement on the track.
In June, Ossipee Lake Alliance sent letters to the Freedom and Ossipee Boards asking that the towns delegate a representative to attend hearings and meetings to determine whether the track will be seen and heard from the lake and what impact it might have on the aquifer. Both towns declined.
Concern over the track was heightened in May after Tamworth’s racetrack ordinance was overturned by a new state law, SB 458, which created a new class of tracks like CMI’s that is exempt from ordinances like Tamworth’s, which regulated noise levels and hours of operation, among other criteria.
SB 458 began its transit to becoming law in the Senate Transportation Committee, which is chaired by Senator Joseph Kenney, who represents the towns most immediately affected by the legislation. Both State Representatives for the area, David Babson and Harry Merrow, have said they will introduce legislation to overturn SB 458 in the next legislative session.