Number One Legacy Fort Wayne Idea: Build A Drag Racing Strip

By John W. Davis

March 16, 2011 Updated Mar 20, 2011 at 12:50 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - As of Wednesday night, a "drag strip" was the number one idea for the Legacy Fort Wayne light lease money on feedbackfortwayne.org.

Nearly 3,400 votes have been cast supporting the idea that city leaders should spend at least $10 million the $78 million dollar fund on a drag racing strip on the city's south side.

Unlike the controversy surrounding the "Harry Baals Government Center" which received 23,817 votes online, supporters said their idea was no joking matter.

A few dozen community members attended Wednesday night's final Legacy Fort Wayne public input meeting at Northrop High School.

The majority of the community members who participated in the meeting were supporters of the drag strip idea.

The official idea is titled, "build a drag strip on the east/southeast side of town to create new economic growth."

Supporters say normally, cities like Fort Wayne would pay all the costs associated with building the drag strip.

As the sole owner, the city would then lease the track to an operator.

Supporters said the city would eventually make all of the money it took to build the drag strip back and would then turn a profit.

"Other cities have seen growth actually come from a drag strip. Cities have grown up around that drag strip. There's no doubt in our minds that it would be an economic benefit to the city if this was done," said Fort Wayne Resident & Drag Strip Supporter Shane Kever.

Kever said he often drive to Muncie, Indiana to race and experience the 1/4 mile drag strip experience.

However, he said the Legacy Fort Wayne process is the right time to build a drag strip on Fort Wayne's south side to promote economic development and growth.

Numerous other supporters said out-of-towners would flock to Fort Wayne as drivers or spectators, revving up much need economic growth for Fort Wayne.

Online public comment ends this month.

The next Legacy Fort Wayne Task Force meeting will be held in April.

Task Force members expect to give Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry their recommendations by this summer.

Mayor Henry could announce some decisions for part of the Legacy Fort Wayne fund by late summer or early fall.

Meanwhile, the task force is operating under a guiding principle.

All task force recommendations should be in the best long-term interest of Fort Wayne.

That means the money should have a lasting impact on our community.

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Here's the drag strip feedbackfortwayne.org pitch in its entirety:

Having a racing facility here would bring in huge amounts of dollars for our city, just as the ballpark has! And it wouldn't cost near as much as the ballpark did to build! We have a lot of things in this area, but nothing like this! As our Governor said once,...Indiana, restart your engines! Not all of Fort Wayne residents are into stick and ball sports! Don't we ALL count? Shouldn't there be something for everyone in our city? VOTE FOR THIS!!




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