Select Board passes motocross fees

SOUTHWICK — The Southwick Board of Selectmen voted on Monday night in favor of the $5,000 fee to the American Legion Post 338 for use of the town land for motocross. The motion also included an increase to $3 million on insurance.
Michael Sullivan of Post 338 read a letter during the open session of the meeting, saying that the fee would be a hardship.
“The Post has been struggling for the last 10 years,” Sullivan read. “Last year, motocross could only run two events all year.”
He said there has been a large increase in expenses, and although it is a non-profit organization, they have to pay expenses.
“That will now be the end of motocross in Southwick and the end of Post 338,” he said.
Robert Horacek, vice chair of the finance committee, also spoke during the open portion. He said the finance committee voted unanimously to uphold the $5,000 fee for motocross.
During the discussion of the vote, vice chair Russell Fox said he met with Sullivan. He said they went over two one-year options to renew the permit, giving the League the option if a national promoter came along and wanted to do something a couple of years down the road.
Chair Joseph Deedy, who abstained from the vote, asked, “How do we look at selling them that land, or swapping it?”
The American Legion owns a piece of land similar in size and makeup right next to the parcel owned by the town that the Legion uses for races. At a previous meeting, it had been suggested that the town and Post 338 might swap ownership of the parcels to eliminate the need for the fee. A transfer of land would need approval from Town Meeting.
“It’s not an easy thing to do,” Fox said. “I only tried to sell town property once, to a resounding no. People are not in favor of releasing town property. They’re just not. We can form a committee to look into that.”
“We’ll do our due diligence ahead of time, not two weeks before April of next year when you need your permits,” Deedy said.

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