Alliance Wants Army Corps. to Determine Track’s Impact On Lake

Freedom — October 7, 2004 — Ossipee Lake Alliance has asked the United States Army Corps. of Engineers (ACoE) to determine whether noise and lights from the proposed racetrack on Mount Whittier will adversely affect Ossipee Lake property owners.

In a letter to Michael Hicks, ACoE’s New England district director, Alliance executive director David Smith said that the results of the two separate noise studies that were conducted by Tamworth officials and the track’s developer yielded conflicting results. He asked the agency to rationalize the differences between the two studies or arrange for a new one that would be conducted under the agency’s supervision.

“We believe the ACoE should not approve this project until a definitive conclusion can be reached on the impact of noise and light,” Smith wrote in the letter.

Smith said the issue is important because state law SB 458, which was created by CMI and pushed through the legislature by its lobbyists, has left Ossipee Lake property owners unprotected.

“When SB 458 eliminated Tamworth’s control over the track, leaving operating issues up to the developer, it also took away any legal recourse that Ossipee Lake property owners might have had if the noise from racing cars and motorcycles on the mountain intrudes on the lake and reduces the value of their property.”

Smith’s letter also pointed to the lack of information on the potential impact of lights from the track site, which will extend high on the mountainside near Tamworth’s border with West Ossipee.

“After more than a year of study, we still have no idea to what extent this enterprise will be seen by the people of Ossipee Lake if the track, clubhouse, spa and ancillary buildings are illuminated at night,” he said, noting that lighting and hours of operation are among the controls that were stripped from Tamworth by SB 458.

The role of the ACoE in the racetrack matter is to establish compliance with Federal regulations and to perform a public interest review, which is a wide ranging fact-finding process during which citizens may comment on and question the impact of any aspect of the project, which is the largest private development ever undertaken in Tamworth.

Although the agency rarely holds public hearings as part of its public interest reviews, it did so last night, when more than 200 people attended the agency’s meeting at Tamworth’s K.A. Brett School. After a presentation by the developer, Stephen Condodemetraky, more than 50 people spoke: one in favor of the development and the remainder in opposition.

The ACoE’s public review process will continue through October 16th. Written statements of public comment should reference File #NAE-200302257 and should be sent to Michael Hicks at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New England District, Regulatory Division; 696 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742-275.

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