MILLVILLE — The status of the New Jersey Motorsports Park’s request for a 10-year extension of its payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement with the city is unclear.

Last month, motorsports park officials said they would make a presentation to the public during the Sept. 3 City Commission meeting.

But in an Aug. 23 letter to city Solicitor Brock D. Russell, Brad Scott, the park’s president and chief operating officer, asked to delay the presentation.

The postponement would allow the park time to prepare documents for its economic impact study and the PILOT presentation, Scott wrote.

“These documents include the requested documents from the last commissioners meeting (Aug. 20), along with providing expert testimony from our support team, executive team, and NJMP ownership regarding the purpose for the PILOT extension request from NJMP,” Scott wrote.

Mayor Michael Santiago said Tuesday the motorsports park presentation has not been rescheduled.

“We are looking for a presentation,” said Santiago, who added the PILOT would not come up for a vote again without one. “They would need to come to us. The ball is in their court.”

City Administrator Regina Burke said the city clerk would know the items appearing on the Sept. 17 commission meeting agenda by Friday.

The park, which has operated since 2008 on Dividing Creek Road, has expressed interest in having its PILOT extended from 15 years to 25. Under the agreement, the park pays $175,000 a year in taxes to the city. The current agreement expires Dec. 31, 2023.

Representatives of the park did not return phone calls seeking comment on the delay or what would happen if the park did not receive the extension.

The proposed extension has not been popular with residents, some of whom have put up “No free ride for race track” signs on their lawns to voice their displeasure.

Opponents of the extension say the park did not produce the jobs it promised, and that the PILOT shortchanges the local school district.

Millville’s PILOT agreement with the motorsports park dates to 2007 and is based on the improvements at the track, so the school district does receive some tax revenue — $28,572 in 2018 — from the land, valued at just over $3 million.

The city received $107,501 between the PILOT — $63,884 — and the land taxes.

During the City Commission meeting of Aug. 20, the five-member commission unanimously voted down giving the motorsports park both a 15-year and a 10-year PILOT extension.

The vote against the 10-year PILOT extension was done with the understanding it could be put on a future agenda again for a first reading after the commission heard the motorsports park’s presentation.

More than 100 residents attended the meeting, a majority of whom were against granting a PILOT extension to the park.

Visitors to the park on a recent Saturday were much more supportive of the proposal.

Jay Fling, 70, of Pelham, New York, has been coming to the park every year since it opened.

“A national organization is bringing racing here, and if they make some improvements with this track, like a speaker system that works, that would be a big deal,” Fling said. “We follow motorcycle racing, and a lot of folks do, so if you could keep this track open, and get some tax incentive to make some improvements, this could be a major player.”

Joe Levine, 51, of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, has been to the motorsports park between 40 and 50 times since it opened. He has been riding since he was 13.

“It’s a good track, good amenities, good people ... good park, closer than Pocono for me,” Levine said. “It’s very important (to keep the park open), I think, just for the motorcycle rider in general.”

Karl Weis, 51, of Mullica Hill, Gloucester County, has been to the park a few times and ridden his entire life.

“It’s a place to hang out and join in the camaraderie of motorcyclists,” said Weis. “(It gives riders a place) to take their motorcycles and see what they can do, use the facility rather than using the street.”

Contact: 609-272-7202

VJackson@pressofac.com

Twitter@ACPressJackson

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