Racetrack coming to Greene County

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Fast cars, jobs and a good time in a good family atmosphere all look to be on their way to Greene County soon. Last month Henry Harkness and Arthur Truss came before the Green County Commission in the hopes of leasing land from the county to establish a drag racing track. Monday, the commission approved the plan opening the door for the pair to move forward.

Harkness said the track was something they were very eager to do for several reasons.

“We are really interested in doing this,” Harkness said. “We mainly want to improve and enhance the county and provide more safety by getting individuals off the road.”

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Harkness said the addition of the new track would benefit the people of Greene County in several ways.

“We believe it is a win, win situation,” Harkness said. “All individuals concerned, the county government and the people in the community will all benefit from this. We know that by building that track we will be able to improve the property value of the surrounding community and bring in some jobs to the community to people who possibly need jobs.”

The new track is also expected to increase the tax base, which could lead to more new businesses in the area and more jobs indirectly stemming from the track.

Truss said the pair has spoken with Edna Chambers, the commission over the area for the proposed track, and things had gone very well. They recently held a public hearing and received very positive feedback.

“We talked to Mrs. Chambers about coming to meet with her,” Truss said. “We also met with the community of Knoxville. We had a good many people come out. We poured our hearts out and told them our concern was with safety. We are going to do everything in our power to keep the people safe and we even went further to take a survey. We went house to house to the people who live in the area and most said they would like to see it come.”

A total of 47 people came to the commission meeting to show their support for the new track.

The commission voted to allow the pair to proceed with one catch. If the track ever ceases operations for a significant period of time the property would automatically go back to the county and they could use it as they see fit. However, as long as the track is functioning Harkness and Truss will remain in control.

When Harkness and Truss first came before the commission in February they said they would like to have the track functioning by April 30. They added May of June would be acceptable. The pair will set a date to begin construction soon.