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Guam's racing sector backs bill to save Yigo raceway



By Pacific Island Times News Staff

 

The Guam motorsports community is proposing that the Chamorro Land Trust Commission be authorized to enter into a temporary license agreement

to open the Guam Raceway Park.


“Guam’s football, baseball, and soccer communities are very active and popular, but so is our motorsports community. There are thousands of motocross racers, off-roaders, drag racers and drifters," said John Burch, Jr., another member of Guam’s motorsport community.


"The difference is, we just don’t have a home," he added.


The Guam racing community is also proposing that the CLTC be authorized to issue a public use license rather than a commercial lease. They are also asking that the property tax be removed similar to the arrangement with other local sports organizations.


These proposals were among the amendments the motorists have sought to be included in  Bill 287-37, authored by Speaker Therese Terlaje and Sen. Chris Barnett.


The bill would facilitate the leasing of the Guam International Raceway property in Yigo for its continued operation. It would allow the CLTC to subdivide and enter into a commercial lease or license for a portion of Lot 7161-R1 in Yigo, specifically designated for the operation of a raceway.


“By providing a legal mechanism for the lease of the raceway property, we are working to ensure the continuity of racing activities while also addressing the potential for the development of the remainder of the property for residential and commercial purposes,” Terlaje said in a statement earlier this month.

 

Hans Ada, the group’s representative, thanked Terlaje and Barnett "for taking the lead and providing the framework to save the track. Now, the bill is only a few amendments away from making the reopening of the track a reality."

 

Ada noted that GovGuam has entered into long-term leases with the Guam Football Association, Guam Tennis Federation, Rugby Union and the Marianas Yacht Club. 


"Some of these leases are as long as 50 years, with either nominal fees for the organizations to pay or in certain cases, no obligation of payment for rent or property taxes," Ada said. "Motorsport enthusiasts should be treated the same when it comes to the use of public land."

 

Burch noted that the raceway has also been a multipurpose park for cyclists, runners, walkers and families.





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