By CRAIG HALL
The public meeting to discuss the proposed street racing drew a large crowd to Heavener’s PAC Tuesday night.
The crowd showed up to discuss the proposed race course on Old Highway 59. Most of the people who came to talk and discuss why that was not a good location, didn’t bother talking after an opening statement from Heavener city manager Cody Smith, who was the moderator of the event.
“We are looking at other locations and seeking other ways to do this,” Smith said in opening the meeting. “The location has been taken off the plans to do street racing.”
Many in the crowd, mainly made up of residents of the Petros community, applauded the news. Members of the local association had been working with the city and chamber to bring street racing to Heavener. The proposed course next to Blues Park and the Reeder Thornton Agriplex was the first choice.
Residents of the Petros community were not happy with the location, saying the noise, crowd and traffic would not be a good addition. Plus, there was concern about being located next to the park, although members of the association offered to only have races on days that there wouldn’t be games or events at the Agriplex.
“First of all, we’re not here to push anything on anybody,” said Jay Hill, one of the organizers. “This is something the community needs. We’re not trying to force it.”
Hill and community leaders are looking at two locations for the proposed course.
“We can’t say where the two spots are as nothing has been finalized,” he said. “It’s not in a residential location.”
Many of the people against the races being run on Old Highway 51, voiced their support of having street racing in Heavener. Hill promised that if plans come to fruition, it would be done correctly.
“This will be organized and done right,” Hill said. “Kids in this town have nothing to do. This is something we’re willing to put our own money into.”
Hill said it would be cheaper on the organization to have races on Old Highway 51. He had said during a council meeting earlier in the month that it would cost at least $30,000 to do an overlay of the road and perhaps widen it.
Petros resident Curtis Howze praised Hill.
“I commend anybody trying to do anything good for Heavener,” Howze said.
Hill acknowledged it wasn’t a certainty the street racing would happen, but said the worries about the noise were overdone as he said this was street racing and not drag racing and somebody could street race right in front of your house and there was a good chance nobody would hear or notice.
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