The Ponoka 1/8 Mile Drag Race Association was given the clearance to run another event this August at the Ponoka Industrial Airport but town council has asked organizers to find ways to mitigate runway damage if they want to continue.

The Ponoka 1/8 Mile Drag Race Association was given the clearance to run another event this August at the Ponoka Industrial Airport but town council has asked organizers to find ways to mitigate runway damage if they want to continue.

1/8 mile drag race approved for 2015

Organizers of the 1/8 mile drag race are approved to hold one this year but have to come up with a plan to mitigate runway damage.

Organizers of the 1/8 mile drag race that has been hosted at the Ponoka Industrial Airport for the last two years need to come up with a plan to mitigate runway damages if they want it to continue.

Concerns over damages to the airport runway were expressed before town council approved the request to host a drag race this year, during its regular meeting Tuesday, April 28,

The Ponoka 1/8 Mile Drag Racing Association usually hold their races on the first weekend of August drawing large crowds of racing fans, but damages, believed caused by the vehicles, is putting a financial burden on the town.

Ruts and oil spill damages are estimated to cost approximately $120,000 to $150,000; infill repairs are estimated at $30,000 to $35,000, explained Dave McPhee, director of operations and property services. “Planes don’t like landing on ruts,” said McPhee.

“It’s meant for landing aircrafts and take off of aircrafts; not for drag races,” he added.

Race association president Ross Hageman said they would not be able to pay for repair costs after Coun. Marc Yaworski inquired if they could. However, the association is considering ideas to ensure minimal oil leaks and damage to the runway in the burnout area.

He suggests they could potentially use a large steel plate in that area. “We’d have to move it in a skid steer or something like that,” said Hageman.

Coun. Tim Falkiner asked that council approve this year’s event with the hope the association can find a solution to the problem before next August. “I at least think we should give the association an opportunity. It will at least give them a year and a half,” said Falkiner.

“We’re going to be a lot more strict this year with fuel leaks,” added Hageman.

The race is set for the weekend of Aug. 1 and 2. A recommendation was made to administration that the town and the association inspect the area before and after the race.

Town briefs

Council approved the proposed commissioning of Recreation and Culture Master Plan for $78,000. McElhanney Consulting Services and BR2 Architecture are the companies hired to provide the plan, which is hoped to be completed by October.

***

As there was no one who spoke for or against, council approved a subdivision application by Gemini Corporation.

Although a name was not provided by administration, the map shows the location as Gemini’s. The designation of the land was changed to heavy industrial from light industrial and commercial/industrial expansion under the land use bylaw.

***

Council accepted the resignations of Economic Development Board (EDB) members Peter Oakes, Dennis Jones and Gary Colyn. Oakes was a member of the EDB for more than 10 years. Colyn served for over three years and Jones for more than two.

Council also approved a $100 donation to Lac Ste. Anne County for its efforts to raise money to support a Women in Government program. The program is hosted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, of which the town is a member.