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Grand Prix survives challenge

Florence council questioned preparation for event

Staff writer

Organizers of this year’s Florence Grand Prix met Monday with Florence City Council members to tie up loose ends so the motocross event could take place as planned May 28.

Every chair in the city council room was taken and some of the 21 spectators had to stand at the back. Along with Bent Rims members and supporters, county commissioner David Crofoot, ambulance director Curt Hasart, and zoning chief Sharon Omstead attended.

Bruce Skiles, president of Bent Rims Motorcycle Club, and Tobe Moore, vice president, told council members they hadn’t realized the club had failed to take care of each necessary thing.

“Up until just a couple of days ago, I thought things were going smoothly,” Skiles said. “Then I found out we neglected a very important thing in the safety plan.”

What they had neglected was to make sure ambulance service would be available.

They also neglected to have an event permit issued by the county. Race tracks span both city and county property.

Skiles has been talking to both the sheriff and ambulance director to make sure safety needs are covered.

“We have ambulances stand by for football games, and this is a lot more dangerous than a football game,” council member Matt Williams, who is also a county emergency medical technician, said.

Williams recommended having a police presence as well and said club members needed to make sure everything is approved.

Williams asked whether the motorcycle club had gone over last year’s 20-page event plan.

Skiles said Bent Rims members would speak to the Florence fire department.

After club members’ discussion with the city council was over, they met with county representatives in another room.

“They had a really good meeting, and they’re getting a lot of traction on getting things done,” Williams said Tuesday.

Florence’s mayor and the Bent Rims president will review every point of the 20-page plan, initialing each one, Williams said.

“It’s very promising right now,” he said. “We have some hurdles, but it’s very promising right now. They’re up to the wire here, but the safety of Florence and the riders is important.”

The race, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. will have several categories.

The registration cutoff was May 1. Gate fee is $10.

Last modified May 17, 2023

 

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