CNY Raceway Park owner: Grant money still tied up in red tape

CENTRAL SQUARE (WSYR-TV) - When Super DIRT Week’s long time home at the Moody Mile on the State Fairgrounds was town down two years ago, the plan was to make Central New York Raceway Park its new home.

A majority of the work has been completed, but when track President Glenn Donnelly got only $1 million of the $8 million in grant money he’d been promised, work slammed to a halt.

He says it would only six to eight more weeks to get the dirt track ready if the money were in place.

"It's that far along and of course you just need a grandstand in there and a tower that would be the most expensive part of it,” he said.

Donnelly told NewsChannel 9 that the grant money he needs to finish the race park remains tangled up in red tape thanks to an ongoing state investigation into one of its agencies involved in issuing grants.

The state has a different take.

"These are reimbursable grants so you've got to do the work and get reimbursed by the state. It's a standard way of doing it. That's how we protect taxpayers and make sure work gets done before state money gets done, it's pretty standard so that's what the delay is,” said Howard Zemsky of the Empire State Development Corporation.

One of the project’s other hurdles was recently cleared after Donnelly received the Army Corps of Engineers Permit he’d been waiting for to build part of the road course through a small portion of wetlands.

With $10 million from investors already committed to the project, Donnelly says he’s focused on preparing the 2.2 mile road course, hoping to restart work in a month in hopes of having it ready for racing by August or September of 2018.

Donnelly remains optimistic on the future of the raceway park.

“I will say this within a couple of years this will be the place to be,” he said.

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