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Hudson Valley

Town weighs in on Monticello Motor Club noise study

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Albany/HV: Town weighs in on Monticello Motor Club noise study
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The results of a noise study commissioned by the Monticello Motor Club are released. Eva McKend has more from residents and the president of the Motor Club on the implications of the study and the club's plan for the future.

MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- The Monticello Motor Club says they have been receiving push back from a vocal minority since they opened their doors five years ago.

Now both residents and the club must contend with the results of a sound study that says the noise levels from the activities of the race track don't exceed those of an operating airport. The site of the racetrack used to be an airport so the club is still within their regulations but some residents maintain that the noise is just too much.

"For the last four years, my home has been absolutely destroyed. If this track had been put in properly in the very beginning and they had put restrictions which should have been, we would never be here tonight," said Monticello Resident Ann Culligan who has a huge "Stop the Noise" banner in front of her home.

Residents had the opportunity to speak their peace and ask questions at an informational meeting. A public hearing in the coming weeks will soon follow. The study also said that one area near the club's entrance on Rupp Road could benefit from a noise barrier but maintains this is at the discretion of the club. Other residents say the club is a critical asset to the community.

"There may be areas that have been affected but I think the greater good of the track being here has been a benefit not only to the community but to the people living here as well," said Kyle Connery.

Monticello Motor Club President and Co-Owner Ari Straus insists that most residents are a part of a silent majority that are actually happy to have the business of the motor club right here in Monticello.

"The majority of residents who live near us, support us, including those who live right here on Cantrell Road, our closest neighbors who have signs right there on their front yards. If we were really as intrusive a business as just a handful of people claim, you’d see an absolute groundswell against us," said Straus.

The towns planning board will have to negotiate the cost of keeping the peace in an area that so desperately depends on the economic revival the club provides.

"The Monticello that I remember as a kid is very different from the Monticello today. This is an area that is in desperate need of jobs and economic revival. We are really proud to be one of the largest capital improvement projects in Monticello," added Straus.

The club has already brought more than sixty jobs and invested millions of dollars in Monticello. They pledge to bring more if their plans to expand can move forward but they might have to reconsider that plan if the town's planning board requires them to make costly decisions as a result of the noise. They can't move forward without a site plan amendment from the board.

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