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Greenwood council dissolves land agreement for tiny race track

Council’s decision was a formality in an ongoing disagreement over liability insurance
Remote control cars line up to the starting line at Greenwood’s GoldRush Speedway on Aug. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Greenwood city council on Monday, Sept. 13, voted to terminate the licence of occupation for the city’s tiny racetrack, the GoldRush Speedway.

Council’s unanimous decision came at the request of the non-profit Greenwood Activities Abound Society (GAAS), which held the licence, according to chief administrative officer (CAO) Marcus Lebler.

The termination changes nothing either in the two sides’ disagreement over liability insurance for the track, or in the status of the track itself, which Lebler said remains closed to the public.

READ MORE: Greenwood closes Gold Rush Speedway after land agreement breaks down

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GoldRush opened last spring, after the city approved GAAS director Doug Teramoto’s proposal to build a 90-metre dirt oval for remote control (RC) car racing on a city-owned lot east of Highway 3, between Louisa and North Government streets. Teramoto said the license of occupation was vague both in terms of liability insurance coverage and in terms of which party would pay for the insurance policy.

Lebler, who was not CAO when the agreement was signed in May, explained Thursday, Sept. 16, that any municipality would typically require a licensee not only provide their own liability insurance for venues operated on city land, but that they further indemnify the license-granting municipality against any claims brought against the licensee.

It’s not simply a question of paying for the insurance, given that the city’s policy already covers city-owned land, including the Gold Rush. It’s rather a question of liability, Lebler explained.

The city is reluctant to add GAAS as another insured party to its policy because insurance claims stemming from the use of the race track would be brought against the city rather than the society.

“It’s not a risk the city is willing to take,” he said.

Council remains hopeful that the two sides can come together on a new agreement, one Lebler said he hoped would be “mutually beneficial.”

Discussions are tentatively set to resume once city staff has the opportunity to do more research, he added.



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