ALAMO TOWNSHIP (WKZO) -- For over 60 years, the Alamo Township Kalamazoo Speedway has been racing cars, and the Township doesn't want that to change. However, a new noise ordinance may force the operators to tone things down a bit.
They set out 113 seats, the capacity limit at Alamo Township Hall, and when they had to turn away the first 50-they thought they might still be able to have a meeting, but when another 50-turned out, they cancelled.
The huge crowds came despite ice slickened roads, blowing snow and frightening driving conditions. They will reschedule at a bigger venue. Supervisor Lou Conti called it a tribute to democracy that such a crowd turned out on such a terrible night.
On the agenda, a controversial noise ordinance that Township officials say is misunderstood. Supervisor Lou Conti says while the Kalamazoo Speedway may be impacted, they don’t want to jeopardize their business.
In fact they think toning the cars down with mufflers might even make it more attractive to women and families.
He says the initial complaint came because dirt bike riders set up a course near a residential area off Owen Drive. It had nothing to do with the Speedway.
He says the Speedway is already close to complying with their requirement that it create no more than 82-decibels at the edge of their property. Decibel measurements taken by the owners show that they are reading around 90 decibles at their property line. Conti says their proposed ordinance is similar to ordinances that other townships already have on the books. They say they would give the track a year of grace from having to comply so they could tune and tweak their events, which take place 32 weekends every year.
Gary Howe, the owner of the track says they are ready and willing to work with the township, but would rather avoid having to get a special pemit.
Watch above for comments from Alamo Twp. supervisor Lou Conti about the issues facing the Kalamazoo Speedway.