December 21, 2018 - Mankato Motorsports Park planned by airport.
(sometime in here is the contact Councilman Terrell initiated with the developer and land owner)
February 4th & 19th, 2019 - Brad Bass and Gary Curtis present the proposed project for the Eagle Lake location. Key notes: it's not a racetrack and cars must be street legal
April 15th, 2019 - Planning meeting where is it recommended that Mr. Bass complete the EAW. This is to provide valuable information that is open and transparent for the residents.
May 6th, 2019 - Reps for LeRay Township present in regards to annexation discussion, 2 residents express concern about the project noting noise, traffic, aesthetics, and taking of prime farmland.
June 3rd, 2019 - mention of a open house for the Mankato Motorsports Park on June 12th at city hall. A promotional flyer would be mailed by the developer. (We, being 1/2 mile north of this project, did not receive one. I found out by a friend who lives in Eagle Lake)
June 12th, 2019 - Open House at City Hall. Developer and reps in MMP shirts with glossy displays (signs) of the condos, track, etc. I was not the only one to have a heated discussion with the developer when he spoke to me like I didn't even live here and know the area he's talking about. Questions were asked as to why it wasn't being presented as "Eagle Lake Motorsports Park" or something of the sort. Multiple residents were given conflicting information. At this time the website was still showing the Mankato location and clear information was hard to come by.
June 12th and 13th, there are discussions on the Eagle Lake Community Page. Concerns noted: noise, damage to roads and infrastructure, wildlife impact, developer's intentions, loss of small town feel, conflicting information, conflict of interest (with 2 real estate agents on the city council), tax impact, lack of notice, disappointing interactions with MMP reps, how would this benefit Eagle Lake, could it hurt Eagle Lake, desire for community Q&A session, loss of agricultural land, conserving the environment, dollars signs to city council, not the right investor for the community, air pollution, further development, why did others reject it, etc.
Mankato Motorsports Park joined the conversation. They claimed the land was zoned commercial (at that time, it was zoned agricultural), everyone involved in ownership is Mankato based, community outreach is important, that Eagle Lake contacted them (which we now know that a councilman did reach out. City council has not replied as to whether or not they knew about it), insisted on being transparent and the importance of reaching out to the residents.
June 14th, 2019 - MMP website updated to reflect new proposed location, but still conflicting information.
June 17th, 2019 - Planning commission meeting. Brad Bass had contacted the City Administrator to ask about moving up the process of land use and rezoning. He wanted to get going as if the annexation goes through he can gets things moving quickly. The Chairman notes that in past requests (from others) have been made in person and has been contingent on the agreement going through. No report on the EAW yet.
At this time it needs to be noted that Mayor Auringer reached out to me on the 17th and asked to get together and discuss our concerns. We met at our house on the 19th and Councilman Short was asked to join him. They talked with us (Mike) and I felt it was a good conversation and genuine attempt to hear our concerns. We appreciated that they reached out and took the time to discuss it with us.
July 1st, 2019 - city council meeting. 9 residents speak against the project. Most concerns were the same as above, with the addition of ecological resources, disturbance of wetland, if city council members have a financial interest, desire for a safe, quiet community, and again, conflict of interest.
There were 2 drafts for orderly annexation. One was for the entire LeRay Township (??!!) and the other was just for the 3 parcels. City was to provide notice of intent to the Mankato Free Press for the 3 parcels. It was published on July 20th, in the classifieds under "Public Notice".
Brad Bass was there to say that they're would only be 12-17 cars on the track at a time, no bleachers, not a racetrack, no motorcycles; open to public at certain times, condos big part of design, tires sales and service (available only to members), sports shop, etc. (listed on the site). Phase 1 was to include 3 miles of track, 72 condos with 40 of them supposedly spoken for, berms on north and east. Phase 2 was going to be 50 more condos and possibility of a town square.
July 7th, 2019 - article in Free Press. In this article he "touted the project as the only one of it's kind for Minnesota care enthusiasts outside of Brainerd". This is one of the mentions of Brainerd is which I believe is what gave people the idea that this project was going to be similar (drag strip, ticketed events, camping, etc.) He also "hopes to find a way for the park to be a good neighbor".
August 5th, 2019 - city council meeting. 11 residents speak against the project or ask for more information. Many of the concerns are similar to the ones I listed earlier, adding: no appeal to families, what if the developer can't afford to complete it, are tax dollars the driving force behind getting approval, still many residents unaware this project is even happening, solar arrays already in the area, water and land drainage, and again, conflict of interest.
Mike also gave a demonstration of what 110 decibels sounds like.
August 27th, 2019 - "Mankato Motorsports Park Holdings, LLC" is filed with the State of Minnesota. So....not Eagle Lake then?
November 4th, 2019 - city council meeting. City Administrator state that she is working with the city attorney to draft a developer's agreement. She had a meeting scheduled with Brad Bass and asked if a member of the council could attend. Councilman Steinberg volunteered. A compiled list of concerns was to be included in the agreement if they hadn't already been.
December 2nd, 2019 - city council meeting. Bradford Development formally petitioned the city to provide sanitary sewer and water service to the project site for MMP. It was noted that back in July it was stated that the city would NOT be paying for any upfront costs. Council members expressed no desire to provide the service, but there was some interest in upsizing the lines. Condo count increased from 122 total to 192 total.
3 residents spoke about conflict of interest, that the developer can't be trusted, there should be caution with the developer's intent and that this will not bring business IN to Eagle Lake.
December 4th, 2019 - petition created
December 21st, 2019 - petition shared to Eagle Lake Community page. More concerns repeated, but it's clear that residents still don't understand that there won't be a drag strip, it's not for the youth, etc. There were requests for more information - which was part of the point of this petition - and a few who claim these are "not all the facts" and they know "the ones who know" and we should get that information.
December 29th, 2019 - additional share to the ELC page and clearing up some misconceptions in the text preceding the link. Comments asking why even build it, if Mankato turned it down why would Eagle Lake want it, another request for more facts, and Councilman Terrell accusing me of making false statements and speculating.
January 6th, 2020 - I present the petition to the city council, question the traffic study, and look right at Councilman Terrell as I share what I was accused of. He sent me a message that night and that is all addressed in the previous update.
February 6th, 2020 - I stopped in at Mankato Motorsports to pick up some parts and asked to speak with someone in management. Given that I mention them in the petition (to say they are NOT affiliated with this project) I wanted to touch base with them to be, well, transparent and upfront.
February 28, 2020 - Mankato Free Press article about the EAW and public comments being accepted. In this article the developer hopes to close on the property in May, with construction hopefully starting in summer.
A local real estate agent shares to the Eagle Lake Community group page "Hey Eagle Lake - Who is ready for the RACE TRACK to come to town ? Ground will be broken this spring!!!!" When I questioned this person about where they received this info they commented that it happened in a meeting that morning. They then deleted their post and privately messaged me to say that they did so. I again asked about the meeting and no answer.
March 2, 2020 - I am made aware of a counter petition to support the project.
City council meeting that is well attended. Once again, it was pretty clear there are individuals who don't understand (or refuse to believe) the events that will be held at this facility. There was a reference to a large track in Wisconsin and it's just not the same thing. It was called a "good, clean commercial project for the community". There were comments from some who like the idea, but stated that there WILL be noise.
April 6th, 2020 - City council meeting via GoToMeeting were it's noted that comments were received and passed on to the developer and then a third-party reviewer.
April 20, 2020 - Planning commission meeting via GoToMeeting It is hear where additional condos and a 10 foot wall (on top of a 10 foot berm) are considered for noise mitigation.
April 30, 2020 - Special city council meeting where additional time is requested to acquire more information before making the decision on the EIS. Items requiring more information include, but were not limited to, project description, noise mitigation, land use, stormwater management, and fish and wildlife. It is also noted that "work has continued with track and condo design, club house design and menu design".
May 4th, 2020 - City council meeting via "GoMeeting". Given information in the Findings of Fact, comments are given about concern with the developer and city monitoring the noise through a "Sound Committee".
May 18th, 2020 - Planning commission meeting via GoToMeeting. Discussion about the Shoreland Ordinance (mention of cottages, stairways).
May 25th, 2020 - 6pm. Residents are given 221 pages of the Findings of Fact to see if our concerns were addressed before the decision is made to go forward with or forgo and EIS.
May 26th, 2020 - Special city council meeting via GoToMeeting. Land has been sited for "industrial". From Matt Lassonde: Traffic study had no significant concerns (a new one? When?), wetlands are degraded, suggestion of a "Sound Committee" (3 residents, one city council or staff member, and one member of the track). Note that berm and (new) wall will help with noise. 3rd party reviewer found no significant environmental impacts. Alex Wolenski (Track Management Consultant with Gyver Consulting) states the developer has been proactive by addressing concerns prior to the track being built. Decibels meters will be set up within the facility to help determine when sound outside the track would be an issue. Claims that the changes were made because of the comments.
Comments note that changes were made, information was missing and the EAW should be redone. Discussion over the X-Bow not being a street legal vehicle in the US. How will the hotel and entertainment center being removed affect the sound? How is any of this aesthetically pleasing? "Seasonal living units" were still being mentioned (supposed "error"). Residents were given inadequate time to view these changes. Question was raised as to why a positive resolution wasn't included in the Findings of Fact?
Mayor Auringer expressed concerned and wasn't sure what an EIS would look like. Councilman Steinberg felt the lakes designate status should be investigated more. Councilman Ries says the DNR found no issues with the EAW (FALSE) and feels this is a delay tactic. Councilman Terrell feels the "sound committee" can handle the noise and Councilman Short is putting weight in the third party reviewer's findings (but it does not mean he doesn't have concerns).
They vote to not do the EIS.