Originally Published: February 22, 2002 3 p.m.
In Texas, they used to have a saying: Don't build your outhouse near the flower garden.
The people of Chino greeted the prospect of a motor sports track on the Old Home Manor property with the same level of enthusiasm flower lovers would bring to greeting an outhouse in the flower garden.
In addition to indigenous displeasure the nearby residents were voicing, Yavapai College, which has its agricultural and equine programs in Chino Valley, was equally vehement in voicing its displeasure and threatening not to expand its operation there if the town accepted the racetrack idea.
Town officials reacted to the initial public reaction with some wisdom.
First, it considered directing town staff to prepare the necessary documents to refer the issue to the voters' who would decide the question of whether the town should permit location of the racetrack within the town limits. It retreated from that, however, when it became obvious that nothing would be happening close to Old Home Manor.
Second, it authorized Mayor Dan Main, to write a letter of support for locating a motor sports racetrack in the town limits but not on Old Home Manor property.
Third, it plans to consider possible amendments to its intergovernmenal agreement with Yavapai College governing its operations at Old Home Manor, but tabled it for the time being.
At a proper location, a motor sports track could help in Chino Valley's economic development. It could draw a lot of people from quite a distance, but the town needs to find a place for it where noise, traffic and parking will not disrupt the lives of current residents.
No matter what a motor sports track's economic implications might be, the town would be foolish to pursue it if it means losing an established economic asset such as the Yavapai College agricultural and equine programs.
Let's hope the town's future moves are as sensible as its initial ones.