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Fort Macleod council lets airport racing request idle while research is done

Racing at Fort Macleod airport was put in neutral last week.
Council decided last week to table a decision on entering into a contract with Southern Alberta Solosport Club, which has rented the airport the past two summers for its auto slalom races.
At the Feb. 22 council meeting at Fort Macleod RCMP Centennial Library assistant chief administrative officer Jill Henderson provided an update on discussions with the club.
“Last year there were some concerns and complaints that came in from residents about the noise,” Henderson said.
Henderson spoke to a club representative to address concerns.
One of the changes is the races will now start at 10 a.m., rather than 8 a.m.
In a written report to council Henderson explained course set-up will take place from 7:30-9:30 a.m., followed by a driver meeting.
Racing will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The club has also bought a noise meter to measure the sound.
“Hopefully they can deal with some of the concerns with the noise,” Henderson said.
Plans are also in the works to keep nearby residents informed about the races, and to invite them to watch and even ride in the cars.
The Town of Fort Macleod increased the rental rate to $450 a day, from $400.
The club will make washrooms available, provide required insurance for the event, and pay for any damage to the runway.
The Town of Fort Macleod will provide the club with details of the noise by-law and complete the contract.
“We will provide a notification to all the residents in the area,” Henderson added.
Henderson asked council for permission to proceed with the rental.
Coun. Gord Wolstenholme asked when races will take place.
‘Henderson explained the races will take place one weekend a month from April 23 to October.
Coun. Mike Collar expressed concern with approving racing over the objections of nearby residents.
“The residents out there don’t like it,” Collar said. “They feel like they moved to an acreage setting for the peace and quiet.”
Collar also provided information that racing damages the runway.
Council followed the advice of chief administrative officer Sue Keenan and tabled a decision until input can be obtained from all nearby residents and more research is done on whether racing damages the runway.

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