Minden gets new ice racing track
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | November 16, 2017|
With a green light from Minden Hills’ council, the Minden Kin Club can begin revving its engines to build a second ice racing track at the fairgrounds.
This snowmobile track would be located where the ball diamonds are and would allow the club to host four Ontario Snowmobile Oval Racer (OSOR) events this winter. There’s already a car ice racing track closer to Bobcaygeon Road.
In making his pitch to council Nov. 9, club president Andy Rickard said last year’s vintage snowmobile races attracted 150 participants and 600 spectators even though they had to be cut a day short due to mild temperatures, so the OSOR races “bring a lot of people to town, are good for the economy and are a fun sport to watch.”
“Many of these people were from out of town and required lodging, food and other services from our community.
The economic benefit of this event was significant. The feedback from the community, spectators and the racers was very positive. The Kin Club was able to raise more than $1,000 for the greatest needs of the community,” Rickard added in a written report to council.
Rickard was after an answer as soon as possible because “if we’re going to go for it, we have a lot of work to do in a short period of time.”
He said the location will require some excavating and the relocation of some small maple trees. He told council they would plow the lower level for parking and pit area. They’ll also have to reroute the OFSC snowmobile trail slightly to accommodate the new track.
It means a job in the winter months, too, for someone to build and maintain both tracks.
Rickard said OSOR would be responsible for insurance and liability. He said the town of Minden will be named on an OSOR policy as co-insured and the club will also carry a liability policy.
“The Kin Club would be responsible for the modifications to the grounds, building and maintenance of the track. We would ask that the town help out with providing and emptying garbage cans, and maintaining the washrooms. It would be helpful if the washrooms and food booth at the arena could be made available for these events due to the large number of spectators,” Rickard added.
Director of community services, Mark Coleman, in a written report to council, said “staff has no concerns with the proposed 10 m wide track route, location and event activities surrounding and within the ball diamond areas.”
He said the location of the outdoor skating rink would be shifted slightly within the outfield of the first ball diamond but that the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena and Community Centre and adjoining fairgrounds will serve as an ideal staging and hosting location for the events, with ample parking and access to washrooms and facilities.
“Staff concurs that these events would bring a positive economic impact to the community and would assist in establishing Minden as a winter sports destination within the province,” Coleman said.
Council gave the project approval in principle.
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.