Will BE’s go kart track be reopening?
Will go kart racing be returning to the Faribault County Fairgrounds next year?
The answer is, quite likely, if one group’s plans come to fruition.
The Blue Earth City Council gave the go ahead for a plan to restore the track and open it back up for the 2021 season. The track has been closed for a number of years and the land it was located on has been split up between the Faribault County Fairboard and the city of Blue Earth.
Bret Osborn was at last Monday night’s City Council meeting asking the council if they would allow the track to be reopened.
“We know the city owns the north side of the track area and the fairboard owns the south half by the grandstand,” Osborn said. “We have talked to the fairboard and they are on board with it (plan to restore the race track area).”
Osborn said it will not take much effort to restore the track.
“It’s still all there,” he said. “The track, lights, building, concession stand, all there. We just would need to install sound and electrical.”
They would also need to remove the grass off the track area and get a track surface installed, he added, which could be done this fall.
“There were 74 karts racing in Fairmont last week,” Osborn said. “Arlington and Atwater also have tracks. We would be a sanctioned track and operate races on every other Saturday afternoon, when those other places are not running races.”
He said everyone loved the track in Blue Earth when it was operating because it was bigger, higher banks and was faster than the others.
Councilman Dan Warner said he agreed that the track is basically still there and added he would like to see it used once again.
However, councilman Glenn Gaylord, who said he was at the go kart track with the ambulance on standby quite often, wondered if there would be enough interest and for how long.
“Do we have enough people interested in it,” Gaylord said. “I don’t want to see it started and then a year or two down the road we go through the same deal as before.”
Osborn said he does not know if there will be interest 10, 15 or 20 years down the road, but there is a lot of interest right now.
Mayor Rick Scholtes said he agreed the area could be used as a go kart track again, especially since the city had not made any progress on a plan of possibly building another ballfield in that location.
Scholtes suggested the staff work on a new lease with the go kart group and present it at the next council meeting.
The council first gave their verbal OK to the plan, but then voted on a motion to proceed with creating a lease agreement. The motion passed unanimously.