Noise complaints could close Grain Valley race track - KCTV5

Noise complaints could close Grain Valley race track

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Valley Speedway is the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night.

The grandstands are packed with racing fans out to see some of the best dirt track racing the area has to offer. But some are worried the track could be shut down over a fight about noise levels.

Supporters of the race track, which has been around for nearly a decade, are taking their fight to save it to City Hall Wednesday night.

"What they don't realize is that track over there is probably one of the top five revenues in this city. Myself personally, I spent over $5,000 in this town this year – I bought a new lawn mower, a new trailer, food, gasoline. Every time we come to town to go to the races we eat here," said Larry Emry, a resident of neighboring Oak Grove. "I specifically spend that money in this town because they allow that race track to operate."

Speedway owner Dennis Shrout has become something of a sound expert. He uses a device to test noise levels all around his Grain Valley race track.

City code requires he keep those levels below 65 decibels - a number he says is impossible to meet.

"We are talking at 68, 69, 71. That is what we are talking at right now. As a racetrack, they expect me to be five decibels less than that with 24 race cars out here on the track," Shrout said.

Shrout said some neighbors have lobbied the city to shut him down for years, and city leaders recently formed a citizen's advisory committee to come up with a solution.

They are set to present their recommendation Wednesday night, but Shrout said the deck has been stacked against him from the beginning.

"This committee is supposed to be composed of two people from each ward in the city of Grain Valley. We are in Ward 2, and there is no one from Ward 2. We have no representation at all. Most of them are in the area that the people are that don't want the track," he said.

KCTV5 made calls to the city for comment, but our messages we not returned.

Shrout said he has done his best to cut down on the noise levels over the years, but he is worried that won't be enough to sway the City Council.

Shrout said he is already in contact with a lawyer and will file suit against the city if the council votes to shut him down.

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