Richard Schmidt

Richard Schmidt, the owner of Motovation, a motocross and dirt bike training business operating in Millville, appeared before the Township Council Tuesday night to read a statement about a new proposal for a cycling education center in the township.

GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP — While the owner of a Millville dirt bike and motocross training business appealed to residents who object to him placing a similar center in the township Tuesday night, one of his employees revved a motorbike in the parking lot of the Municipal Complex.

But no one inside could hear it.

“Please understand all dirt bikes are not created equal, just as all cars are not the same,” Richard Schmidt said, adding that, while there are loud and powerful race bikes, the bikes they plan to use are quiet and less powerful.

Schmidt, of Bayville, is seeking to build a cycling education center featuring trails, instruction, rentals, service and storage through an ordinance adopted in September by the Township Council that named as a redevelopment area a roughly 46.3-acre site that borders Garden State Parkway Exit 44 and Pomona Road at the end of East Moss Mill Road.

That vote was met with public outcry about the noise such a facility might generate and the possibility of decreased property values, driving council to revoke the decision in November.

Schmidt appeared before the council during the public comment portion of the meeting Tuesday, reading a prepared statement outlining the changes he would make from his old proposal, including cutting out the track, to appease neighbors who raised concerns.

Before he presents a new redevelopment plan to the council, he said he wants the township’s residents to be behind him.

“It’s extremely important for me to educate the public, let them know that what we are proposing is entirely new,” Schmidt said.

He also invited residents and the council to two on-site demonstrations, which will be held from noon to 2 p.m. March 25 and 10 a.m. to noon April 8 on the 16-acre portion of the site he is closing on this week.

Near the end of his statement, Schmidt revealed that two bikes that would be used at the site to train students were being revved outside by Chris Hoffman, a Motovation instructor.

“They’re being revved at a much higher rpm than would ever take place during one of our instructional classes with a brand new, beginner rider,” Schmidt said. “So if you can agree that the noise didn’t affect my speech here tonight, I’m hoping that you can all be open enough and agree that the noise emitted from these proposed vehicles and operation would not have any negative effect on the neighbors or community as well.”

After Schmidt’s speech ended, Mayor Anthony J. Coppola Jr. recommended Schmidt invite those who were most opposed to the project to the demonstration.

“We’re simply proxy voters for the people,” Coppola said.

Diana Deckert, 67, a student of Schmidt’s who lives in an active adult community in Waretown, told the council the bikes need to be seen and heard to realize how quiet they are.

“I can’t praise Rich enough for his program,” she said. “I’m aware the residents at Four Seasons hesitate to have this facility close to their community. … However, the quads we were riding were amazingly quiet, much more quiet than I had imagined.

“I can appreciate their concern about the noise, but trust me, they really don’t have to be.”

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Contact: 609-272-7241

Twitter @ACPressMollyB

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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