A year ago, the city council listened to a proposal to build a bicycle moto-cross race track in southeast North Platte.On Monday, the council took another look at the project.
Organizer Brandon McCook says the raceway -- for pedal bicycles -- would be an ideal fit with North Platte’s central location in the state and country, making the city a destination for a nationally sanctioned, rapidly growing sport.
McCook wants the city to designate 20 acres on the corner of Buffalo Bill Ave. and Walker Road, across the street from and east of the Indian Meadows golf course.
The land is already earmarked for a park of some kind, city officials say, a determination that was made a decade or so ago, when Buffalo Bill Ave. began to be extended north over the South Platte River and I-80.
McCook said if the city commits to the bicycle motocross track on what is now an undeveloped park, sizeable donations are available. He believes he can raise nearly $180,000 within six months to put the rest of the financing together. He said a half-dozen or so major donors have indicated they will contribute once the land is designated.
Construction of the track and parking lot would cost around $220,000, he said.
Since McCook talked to the council a year ago, he built a steering committee of dedicated volunteers and obtained a 501©3 non-profit designation from the IRS. The group has raised about $2,000 through tee-shirt sales, raffles and individual donations, and they have obtained professional advice about the design and costs.
He calls his organization 308 BMX, because it would serve the 308 area code and surrounding area. The track could be available for public use, except during races.
McCook said his father showed him the sport in the 1980s, and he fell in love with it. It is an ideal sport for kids of all ages. Equipment is relatively inexpensive and participation fees are reasonable -- $10 to race all day at competitive meets.
Racers range in age from 3-years-old to adults well into their 60s, he said.
The council asked about the danger of injuries, liability to the city, and costs.
McCook’s said insurance is covered through membership in the USA BMX organization. The construction budget calls for the city to contribute about $35,000, plus utility services.
McCook, who has already spent about two years working on the project, is dedicated to making it a reality in North Platte.
“I don’t quit,” he said. “You don’t get anywhere that way.”
The council took no action during the work session, and it is not yet certain if the proposal will advance to a formal meeting for a vote.