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What does building a track cost? Trying to get my city to do it!

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What does building a track cost? Trying to get my city to do it!

Old 04-16-2021, 10:11 AM
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Default What does building a track cost? Trying to get my city to do it!

Hey everyone!

Can anybody please share with me the measurements for a the average 1/8 scale track, and what building one would cost? What are some of the things I would need to be aware of? What about upkeep? I'm currently trying to get our city to put one in, but I'm not sure where to start. I've got a vision, but I need help putting it together.

Please help me by providing any info you can, and you can help make this come true!
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Old 04-29-2021, 07:46 PM
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So to get anything built by the city, county, or maybe even the state, you need to get to know someone in the city council, county or the state. This is going to be a big help with influence. Most projects start out at the city council level. What you want to do, though very straight forward, is not straight forward. There is purposely a lot of discouraging politics involved. There are a few things off the top of my head that will be needed for them to take you seriously. You will need a time line, a budget, and environmental impact reports. Politicians like lots of documentation of everything and anything that can come up during and after the project. You will want to go door to door in the school district or county, to see who is in support of such a project. It is their money being spent after all. This adds to the value of the city the race track is located in. Those are just a couple things that come to mind. The hard part is once it is up and running, are you going to be interested in using the track? I ask this because it can take anywhere from 6 months to twenty years for projects to finally materialize. I witnessed this first hand with a project my father worked on. He passed away in 2005. My 3 other siblings and I just finished the project with the city in 2021. Our father started this venture in 2000. That is a long time, money, and many many many city council meetings. My intentions are not to discourage you. Godspeed and keep an open mind and have patience!

After having watched my father over the years with his projects, I would probably take a different approach. If I wanted to have a R/C racetrack built near me, I would probably pursue it through a school district or a community center, possibly a county fairgrounds even. Someplace that has the governing body, a legal team, and budget and financial system in place already. Having siad that, be conciderate, kind and be honest. Treat everyone nice. Politics at the city level is a very smal world. Coming from personal experience, City's sometime are controlled by four or five key players and word gets around really fast if you are trouble maker. Treat them nice, they will be nice back.
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Old 04-29-2021, 08:37 PM
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If you approach the idea from a different angle, the city might just jump at the idea. Many time the city planning agreement requires specific types of zoning in the agreements. A lot of cities have empty plots of land because they have no idea of what to put there, but are stuck with the plot. Its in the agreement. If you suggest the racetrack to the city as a way to bring income taxes in, keep kids out of trouble, and bring the community together weekly, this could sell itself.
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:06 AM
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So, I work for the City I live in. I am a Manager here, I see requests. 99.9% of the time, they get shot down. There are a lot of stupid ideas that come across. Most are not so stupid, but the liability and costs are way too much. Other good ideas were presented very poorly. If they get shot down, it's for a good reason. The presenters might not think they are good reasons, but there are details that they don't take into consideration or understand.

It is not a hard process to try and get something approved, but here is a list of items that you will have to do and the process that will take place. I listed it in order.
  1. Create a detailed plan pretty much exactly like a business plan. You don't really have to charge admission, but the idea of the community coming together will get their attention.
  2. Obtain sponsorships from local businesses. They will sometimes help pay for it or donate equipment and man hours to build it and maintain it.
  3. Create a petition. Depending on the size of your city, will determine the possibilities. The petition will need names, address, number, and signature. Try to get 10% of the population to sign it, but no less than 5%. Make sure the people signing it are at least 18.
  4. Schedule a formal meeting with the Director in charge of the Parks and Recreation division and present the plan and the petition to them. I would have someone who speaks very professionally with intelligently. Someone who bumbles their words and uses "um" after every other word will look like an idiot and will not be taken seriously.
  5. If the Director is sold on the idea, they will take it to Engineering and City Development.
  6. Once they approve it, it will go to the City Manager. (at least a month has gone by)
  7. If the City Manager likes it, it will go to Council. (at least 2 months have gone by since you presented it)
  8. If it passes City Council, it will go to Engineering to have them draw up a job scope and request bids to build it. (at least 4 months to get to this point)
  9. The contractor is then chosen to perform the work, where the contractor now has to show all of his paperwork to get approved to perform the work and go over the final details of the project. This will take at least another month.
  10. At least 6 months from the time you presented it, the project will start. This is normal circumstances. If you have a smaller city, it could go quicker because of less "Red Tape." If you live in a large city, then you're looking at least a year.
... And yes, it is possible for a project to take many, many years. The biggest delay will depend on the money and liability involved.

This is not impossible. Look at the skate parks, tennis courts, baseball fields, basketball courts, etc... They don't generate money, but they are to provide a way for the community to come together and it also provides activities. That RC track might get used more than a tennis court. It's also a good idea to present pictures of random people, around the city, driving their cars.
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:52 AM
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-------> OffRoadJunkie

That is a gold nugget of information there!
Thank you Offroadjunkie.
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Old 04-30-2021, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by webphut
-------> OffRoadJunkie

That is a gold nugget of information there!
Thank you Offroadjunkie.

What kind of project did your dad start?
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Old 04-30-2021, 06:36 PM
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A possible pitfall with public money for the track is running private races if that is part of your plans. I've seen a couple tracks built in parks and other city property, not sure but I think with private money even just public permission, run into problems holding races. Once they (or someone) found out the builders were going to run races and charge money, on the weekend no less, they were shut down (but hey thanks for building the park this nice track). Perhaps include it and draw parallels to little league games and such, organized activities, competition, sportsmanship, achievement, maybe LL charges something too.

Good luck. Track owners and operators are the best.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:20 PM
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well yes, I understand, but if the public parks run it, then should be fine.
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Old 04-30-2021, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave H
A possible pitfall with public money for the track is running private races if that is part of your plans. I've seen a couple tracks built in parks and other city property, not sure but I think with private money even just public permission, run into problems holding races. Once they (or someone) found out the builders were going to run races and charge money, on the weekend no less, they were shut down (but hey thanks for building the park this nice track). Perhaps include it and draw parallels to little league games and such, organized activities, competition, sportsmanship, achievement, maybe LL charges something too.

Good luck. Track owners and operators are the best.

The public park will not run it. They won't get involved in it because they no nothing about it. However, they will allow it to be used for events if it was for charity. That means you will not be able to make any money on it. However, you will be able to use some of the money to pay for the timing equipment and stuff like that. Then again, they might be willing to rent it out for special events. That is dependent upon the City. The CIty rents out property for special events all the time where people are making a profit. Ever been to a county fair? You just have to make sure you have a business license to do it. You don't need a business license to hold a charity event, though. You just need a permit from the City.
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Old 05-01-2021, 06:48 AM
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I don't know what it cost, but our local club, before I was a member, worked with the city to get a track built.

They got a grant for the drivers stand, the city ran water and power and let the club use the land for a period of time. I believe the city also provide some equipment to help with the initial build.

The club runs it and is responsible for maintenance and rebuilds of the track. It is at a sports complex with a BMX track, some mountain bike trails, etc.

You could reach out to the club to get more info. Treasure Valley RC in Boise, ID. The track is Eagle Hills Raceway in Eagle, ID.
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:42 AM
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I have herd on fb and local paper that a near by city was going to open a rc track.But after seeing city meetings on it .It has fallen thru the giant void.. mostly due to up keep and Insurance the city would have to have.Best of luck getting this done...
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