Spokane County terminates raceway contract - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane County terminates raceway contract

SPOKANE, Wash. - Thursday afternoon, Spokane County commissioners terminated the contract to operate the Spokane County Raceway Park in Airway Heights with operator Bucky Austin.


ADVISORY: To read the notice of termination from Spokane County to Austin Motorsports Management, LLC click here.

The contract termination follows a 'Letter of Default' presented to Austin Motorsports Management, LLC by Spokane County in September. In that letter, county officials cited more than $1 million in outstanding bills from local contractors yet to be paid.

Austin Motorsports had 60 days to cure four separate bases outlined in that letter, one of which was failure to pay the outstanding amounts owed to contractors for work done at the raceway. Failure to do so resulted in the contract being terminated.

According to Board Chair Todd Mielke, Thursday's action was an unfortunate conclusion to a successful first season. 

"Spokane County Raceway Park had an outstanding season that brought tourism dollars into our area, but we had an operator who wasn't paying local businesspeople and we weren't going to let that continue," said Mielke. "The Parks and Recreation Department is prepared to take possession of the property, secure the assets and winterize the facility."

County officials hope to have a new raceway operator by February of 2010, followed by a new racing season beginning in April.

"We have and will continue to move swiftly to secure a full schedule of racing events for 2010, and pursue a new operator's agreement that protects public interests and continues to spur the region's economy," said County Commissioner Mark Richard.

As for the $1.2 million still owed to the contractors, Spokane County will now take responsibility for that debt which will be covered by insurance.

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