Ossipee Chamber names Club Motorsports Business of the Year
GOACC PRESIDENT JAMIE KILLEEN, right, presented the award 2011-12 Business of the Year to Club Motorsports. Accepting the award on behalf of the company was Jim Hoensheid, VP of Marketing. The award was given for the company’s outstanding financial contribution to local businesses and charities. (Mellisa Seamans photo) (click for larger version)
October 27, 2011OSSIPEE — Although not officially open for business yet, Club Motorsports, Inc. has pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into the local economy. And for that, they were recognized as Greater Ossipee Area Chamber of Commerce (GOACC) Business of the Year at the annual meeting Oct. 22.
"This business has supported 42 different companies in the area and 16 non-profits," said GOACC President Jamie Killeen.
The list of 42 includes restaurants, convenience stores, motels, grocers, audio/video and computer companies, motorsports stores, screen printers, loggers, surveyors, and even a helicopter company.
"We are here to support area businesses. Since 2003 we have spent $800,000 in this area and we look forward to the day we are open for business and out members are here supporting the local economy as well," said CMI Vice President of Marketing Jim Hoensheid who accepted the award on behalf of CMI.
CMI first made the announcement in April 2003 of their plans to construct a $14 million driving track on the side of Mt. Whittier called Valley Motorsports Park. They have touted the Park as a country club for car enthusiasts and not a public venue for car racing. The plan includes a 3.3 mile track and 150,000 square foot clubhouse. The company owns 250 acres on Route 25 West, an area of Tamworth that is lined with various businesses and considered industrial/commercial in the town's Master Plan.
CMI has been in legal battle with the town as well as the citizens group FOCUS:Tamworth for eight years now. Tamworth is one of few towns the state that do not have zoning. In October 2003, voters shot down an attempt to enact emergency temporary zoning in a vote of 553-423.
In January 2004, 130 people turned out for a CMI job fair, interested in learning more about the company's proposed 40 jobs.
In April 2004, 500 people attended a NH Department of Environmental Services hearing seeking public input on a wetlands permit sought by CMI. Opponents of the project cited potential contamination of the regional aquifer, its affect on wildlife and plant species, noise, and the overall change in the landscape and what it will look like.
The town set to work drafting a racetrack ordinance to regulate the CMI project and any other potential racetracks that might come to town. The NH Senate passed SB 485 and it was signed into law by then-governor Craig Benson on March 5, 2004. That law that many criticized as being pushed through "under the radar" exempts private driving instruction and exhibition facilities from local racetrack ordinances. Then on March 10, 2004 at Tamworth's town meeting, voters adopted the Tamworth Racetrack Ordinance. Critics upset the town's ordinance would have no impact on CMI's application and that the law takes away local control, pushed their local legislatures to sponsor HB 90 to repeal SB 485. HB 90 failed to pass the NH Senate in May 2005.
The dizzying list of back and forth court battles, in which neither FOCUS nor CMI have backed down can be found at CMI's website at www.clubmotorsports.com.
In August 2005, Army Corps of Engineers granted CMI a federal wetland permit, FOCUS repealed the permission, but the federal court upheld the application approval.
In September 2007, the town's planning board denied CMI's special use permit application in which they asked for permission to replace a culvert and upgrade existing logging roads on the property for better access.
Most recently, the town paid for a soil scientist report and based on the report, sought an injunction against CMI for violation of the town's wetlands ordinance. The request for an injunction was denied by a superior court judge so selectmen in August voted not to pursue the matter further.
Business Person of the Year
Fred Watson, owner of Watson's General Store in West Ossipee, was honored as GOACC Business Person of the Year. Killeen said Watson has gone "above and beyond" to support GOACC, helped whenever needed, sponsored events and gone out of his way to help other area businesses. Killeen said Watson's help during the GOACC annual Snocross event has been especially helpful. Also, Watson donated space in his store for GOACC to convert to their new office space.
GOACC has an information booth in the parking lot of Tramway Artisans in West Ossipee that is staffed by volunteers. They spend seven days a week from Memorial Day through Labor Day then weekends the rest of the year promoting tourism and business in the area. They were all honored with certificates at the annual meeting. Those volunteers are Beverly Grant, David Holt, Sandy Leader, June Loud, George Lynch, June McCloskey, Joyce Silk, Jim Blake, Claire Drew, Anne Foss, Judy Blake, Caroline DeAngelis, Judy Fuller, Rachel Ward, and Marilyn Indelicato. Please see photo of Marilyn Indelicato on page A10,