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Old 07-23-2008, 11:57 AM
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Default Track Closure Update - CDRA Holds Press Conference



Yesterday the CDRA held a Press Conference at the St Croix Race Track to discuss recent events surrounding the closure of the track. For many of you wondering what's going on, allow us to shed some light on the situation between the CDRA, the St Croix Renaissance Group, and the USVI Government.





The story goes as follows:

The Government, via the Port Authority, owns most of the land that the Race Track is currently on. However, a recent survey has revealed that Renaissance actually owns part of the land that the track currently operates on. The land owned by Renaissance includes the staging area as well as the parking area, timing tower and bathrooms. On this basis alone, the CDRA can no longer operate at the track and Renaissance has exercised their rights to have the CDRA removed.

As it turns out though, Renaissance is interested in owning a piece of land close to the port, to the southeast of the track. They have been interested in doing an even swap on that land with the government, but the land at the port is worth more than the land they currently have. The Government, as of now, isn't budging on that.



When the CDRA inquired as to the cost of the land, they were told that it was in the $400,000 range, which they believe is significantly above the real market value. Regardless, the land is owned by Renaissance and Renaissance has served the CDRA its papers to notify them that they can no longer use the land. So, effective immediately, there can be no CDRA at the track.



The CDRA has the alternative option of moving their structures and rebuilding the roads. That requires heavy infrastructure work however, and is likely to cost several hundred thousand dollars, if not more. Meanwhile there's the issue of money...



Over the last few years, the Government has appropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the CDRA. But although the legislature has appropriated the money, the executive branch (Governor's Office) has yet to make the money, which totals about $475,000, available. As a result, VI Paving, who has been doing work for the CDRA in expectation of compensation with the money appropriated by the government, has not been paid. Because of this, they're unwilling to do any more work. Furthermore, with the lack of funds, the CDRA's options are limited.




The question at this point is when and if the Government will follow through and (1) make the promised funding available to the CDRA and (2) support the CDRA by helping them to acquire land. Of note, while the CDRA was given 20 acres of land near Bethlehem, there are noise concerns with operating a track there- even if they had the money to build it. So, what will become of the situation with Renaissance? It might be cheaper for the CDRA to purchase the land. Or maybe the CDRA could sell some of the land they have to finance the purchase of the land from Renaissance? It's also possible that some other sort of arrangement can be reached. At this time though, it remains too early to call.

What do you think of the situation? Chime in with your thoughts. We've attached our full recordings of the press conference below.












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Old 07-23-2008, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: Track Closure Update - CDRA Holds Press Conference

Well all you guy's need to sell your race cars and bikes and buy some boat's ...there is no speed limits in the open water...see you off shore....and believe me the same rules apply "run what you brung and hope you brung enough"...!!!! Lol
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Track Closure Update - CDRA Holds Press Conference

lol kool rotary powered BOAT.. lol .. Ill see you out there... lookin for a shell now...

Hey tekk your car look lonely in front that gate... lol..
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Old 07-23-2008, 06:43 PM
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Post Re: Track Closure Update - CDRA Holds Press Conference

I think twin F22C (S2000 motor) Turbo motors would do well as inboards...maybe Freddy has a point, sell the cars (but to whom, remember there is not race track). lol

But on a serious note, "The Art of Compromise" is also known as diplomacy. A bargaining chip is a useful tool when it could be used in ones favor. You cannot force someone to sell if they don't want to, but public image is sometime an important issue. The Renaissance Group would not enjoy to see picketers on their front step. We are not getting any younger and no one could fight our fight for us. There should be organized demonstration to get the ball rolling. Voters need to write to the Senate to voice their concerns about this company's stance. We all need an organized race track, easier said than done...

Support the effort to return "the Track" to the VI people, the CDRA.
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Old 07-23-2008, 10:49 PM
StX_RdRunr StX_RdRunr is offline
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Default Re: Track Closure Update - CDRA Holds Press Conference

Tekk,

Thanks for the report. If I had known about the press conference I would have gone down to show support.

At the last race day I spoke with Vince Ebbesen for awhile about the situation. What he told me was pretty much exactly what was said in the press conference.

One thing that is clear is that the best solution is to keep the track where it is. Many tracks in the states are forced to close entirely, or close early or make everyone run mufflers due to development. The current location of our track is just about perfect in terms of neighbors. Basically, there are none. There will never be million dollar condos located next to a landfill, a bauxite plant, and the end of a runway. Moving the track to anywhere else on St. Croix is a dead end.

Are you sure that the 20 acres in Bethlehem was actually given to the CDRA or was it at one time floated as an option for another location? If it could be sold to purchase the land at the starting line and pits that would be okay.

Renaissance Park is an EDC company. One of the obligations of an EDC company, as I understand it, is to support the community. Drag racing is one thing that is popular here. Helping the CDRA by working out an equitable compromise for the land needed at the start line and the pits I think fits into the category of community support. It does not mean that Renaissance should give away the land, but asking for way more than the fair market value for the land CDRA needs is not exactly supporting the community.

Tekk, do you know more about the obligations of an EDC company? Can you ask Warren?

Michelle and I have certainly enjoyed the times at the drag strip. We would hate to see it end. It does draw people, more than one would think As the entrance for the tack comes out on East Airport Road, people who arrive on island almost inevitably notice the sign. I have seen on bulletin boards on line that people are asking about the track here and what is the schedule. People will go if it is open.

Anyway, not everyone has agreed with the CDRA, but we all need to stick together and get this resolved, and ideally keep the track where it is as that has to be the best solution. We don't need a return road, we don't need fancy stands, we don't need paved parking, (grass is better anyway as it allows the rain to percolate into the ground and replenish the water table, plus it is cooler). We do need a 1/4 mile track with a good enough shutdown area and a decent pit area.

Write your senators, it is an election year.

Last edited by StX_RdRunr; 07-23-2008 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: Track Closure Update - CDRA Holds Press Conference

Good points.

Gary Thomas told me that the 20 acres were given to the CDRA but never used because of noise issues. I thought that was interesting because it would seem to me to be a better idea to sell the land to finance the purchase of this land in dispute rather than move everything (which would cost more anyway and, from what im seeing, shouldnt be an option)

EDC companies have defined requirements... ie minimum # of employees, the % of locals hired, the amount of money spent locally per year, etc. that they must meet to stay in compliance. In reality it isn't that hard to meet the requirements, especially for a company like Renaissance. Obviously the intent/spirit of the law is to promote the local economy... but there's nothing in the terms and conditions that would force them to give up this land or even indicate that they should. Without naming names I'll say that if some EDC companies owned this land, it would have been a non-issue, in fact the track would have been better off. Then again, I'll also say that if certain other EDC companies owned the land, things would have certainly been worse...

But in general yes, Renaissance, like any modern corporation should do what they can to have a positive relationship with the community. Sadly this gets into a gray area that I'm sure isn't pretty. How many favors are going to be done both ways? It probably isn't good business.

I don't want this taken as fact, but I was told by someone within the gov't that some representatives of the CDRA went to "negotiate" with Renaissance, and that things didn't go well... apparently, egos were involved and Renaissance didn't respond well to it.

Another source has indicated to me that Renaissance wants to move part of the landfill, and closing the track would help them on that end as they want to move it to the east of the track. Not sure about the details on that though.

Worth mentioning is that the Gov't has the option to take the land at market value. But that's unlikely to happen because that would damage their relationship with Renaissance, and Renaissance owns land that the Gov't may want to use for one of their projects...

Also, Renaissance is a large company with many interests and many things going on. Apparently they may not giving this their full 100%.

Good call on the fact that it's an election year.
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Old 07-24-2008, 03:44 PM
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Default Re: Track Closure Update - CDRA Holds Press Conference

lol kool rotary powered BOAT.. lol .. Ill see you out there... lookin for a shell now...

WoW...Politrixs and car racing....who would have thunk it...lol....I have not seen a rotary inboard...will have to investigate that one. My first guess would be there is no lower unit that could keep up with those high revs but I could be wrong. Besides I am sure they have one in Puerto Rico…! LOL you know they put rotary in every thing….
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:03 PM
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Default Re: Track Closure Update - CDRA Holds Press Conference

lol they do.. 3 rotor jetsky boat

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpxK2...eature=related
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:18 AM
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Default Re: Track Closure Update - CDRA Holds Press Conference

Yeh deh man as you sent that post I went and search you tube.. the sh*t is crazy...I sure this thing doing some numbers. I with they had post it, got to be 100+ But like I said it was jet powered so no lower unit or props. Nothing wrong with that still gets the job done. Only problem those boats are not made for the kinda water we have around hear. Two or three six foot waves at speed and it’s over....
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Old 07-28-2008, 05:48 PM
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Default Re: Track Closure Update - CDRA Holds Press Conference

lol ^^ just add wings after that air born.... Yeh the water they run on is lake which has no waves... but STILL A TAUGHT.. LOL..
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