Street Racing has been the topic of discussion at the last few Rock Springs City Council meetings. It began with a request that was presented during the February 19 meeting by Tim Robinson and Alan Zanetti for 3 summer racing events to take place on a stretch of Stagecoach Dr. by Rocket City Street Racing (RCSR).
Through the course of that discussion, as well as a public hearing that was hosted at the following meeting on March 5, council heard many different opinions and perspectives about the proposal, both for and against.
It all came down to a vote tonight to decide whether council would move forward on the event.
Before the vote, City Attorney Richard Beckwith asked to speak. He mentioned that normally he speaks about a topic when requested by council, but on this topic no one had asked for his opinion.
He had “very serious concerns” when it came to the liability of the City when it came to this type of event. Beckwith also noted that he had spoken to the City’s insurer and they would exclude this event from the City’s policy, therefore the City would not be covered if something were to happen.
One of reasons Beckwith supplied is that the location was not designed for the actual purpose of racing.
The suggestion from the City Attorney was that council not approve the request as proposed and also suggested that Rocket City Street Racing seek private counsel to begin discussions about the type of coverage they would need to protect themselves, the racers, and also the City. He did not feel that research had been done yet.
Councilman Rob Zotti mentioned that he had looked into the insurance issue and said there are options available. He asked to table the motion until more information could be given or until further review, asking Beckwith what he might need to feel comfortable moving forward.
Beckwith responded that he’d need to review all policies, waivers, liability options and more as a start, until the “City can be assured” that they would be covered in the absolute case that “anyone was killed or injured.”
With a motion to table, Kaumo asked for a vote. There was no second.
Councilman David Halter motioned to approve the street racing event, pending that RCSR provide Beckwith with everything he’d appropriately need to move forward. Councilman Zotti seconded.
All other councilpersons voted “NO” on the proposal, as well as Mayor Kaumo. The proposal failed 7-2.
Mayor Kaumo spoke to the group and audience saying that the council’s vote could show that they “don’t want to open the door to a race on City streets,” but also suggested that they get a workshop scheduled with Councilman Zotti so that the idea of the event does not go away and other locations can be talked about. He once again mentioned an area of the Sweetwater County Events Complex as an alternative that might be discussed.
Mr. Zanetti spoke from the audience and thanked everyone for being involved and for listening to the request. “It’s bigger than 6 of us trying to throw something together. It’s a passion.”