The Gold Rush Speedway is off-limits to the public as of Friday, Sept. 10, when Greenwood City Hall closed the race track near the intersection of North Government and Louis streets.
Designed for remote control (RC) car racing, the Gold Rush was held up as a mecca for young families and hobbyists when it officially opened in May.
The Greenwood Activities Abound Society (GAAS) had signed a one-year licence of occupation with the city, which director Doug Teramoto on Friday said was “kind of a loose agreement.”
But Teramoto said the deal got hung up in August over the issue of liability insurance for the racetrack — a roughly 90-metre dirt oval contained by knee-high wooden panelling.
“We came to the city with good intentions, Teramoto said, adding, “We’ve already spent a good amount of money and a lot of time” building the Gold Rush.
An unsigned copy of the agreement puts the onus on GAAS to assume liability for “all claims whatsoever” related to the site, but the agreement doesn’t outline any details about liability insurance.
Teramoto said the city asked for a policy that would cover the society for up to $2 million in damages. He declined to specify what such a policy would cost, saying only that, “We’ve been running around looking for quotes and, obviously, liability insurance is not cheap.”
Greenwood’s Chief Administrative Officer Marcus Lebler also declined to go into specifics, noting that he was not CAO when the agreement was signed.
There are other issues that need to be resolved between GAAS and the city, he said, explaining that the park will remain closed pending on-going negotiations between the society and city council.
Both Teramoto and Lebler said talks were going well, with neither describing the breakdown as a “conflict.”
The matter was addressed at council’s regular meeting on Monday night, Sept. 13, long after The Times went to press.