Bonfield councillor Eric Foisy wants racing events at the Bonfield Event Park cut to two per year, a move park owner Lisa Groves calls “ridiculous.”
“I pay taxes for commercial property that is zoned for events year-round,” Groves said. With the pandemic having already cut into her company’s bottom line, reducing events to two per year would result in financial catastrophe.
“For him to suggest that a property of this size and the property taxes that are charged could exist with operating a couple of days a year is ridiculous.”
Bonfield Event Park primarily hosts race events and automotive flea markets, although Groves does plan to include other types of events, besides drag racing, in the future.
The next event, the Fall Classic Race, occurs this weekend, September 24 to 26.
Noise from the track has been an issue for some, and complaints pop up from time to time. They have for the past ten years, long before Groves purchased the property in 2019.
It is too noisy for Foisy, who recently characterised the event to his fellow councillors as “the most contentious issue in our township.”
He noticed that “no real attempt has been made to mitigate or resolve the issue” of drag strip noise, and worries that “whenever there is racing, noise limits are exceeded.”
Those limits are outlined in the township’s bylaw “regulating motor vehicle racing,” a document Foisy encourages council to dust off and revise.
Foisy wants racing events to be limited to two per year— “at fixed times”—the second weekends of June and July.
“Music and entertainment will be limited to Saturday nights,” he explained, and there will be no racing between 9 and 10 on Sunday morning, so as not to disturb “mass time at St. Bernadette’s parish.”
Nothing official has been brought to council yet that would implement these changes. Foisy was only expressing an opinion, although a motion may be tabled at a future meeting.
“Let’s try to make things work for the event park owners, the neighbours and the township,” Foisy said, “without causing too much stress or harm or frustration.”
“This is the same councillor that distributed a letter last year” disparaging the event park, Groves said. “I think he has a personal vendetta that he is trying push while he is on council.”
“We follow all of the bylaws” Bonfield has, she emphasized.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca