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RC racers seek track at Eagles Beak site
Citing requests, official likens it to hobby park
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Forsyth County News



The Forsyth County Parks and Recreation Board on Tuesday reviewed a request by a local group that wants to build a race track for remote control vehicles at a green space site.

The group plans to build and maintain the track itself at the Eagle’s Beak property, if the county provides dirt and a driver’s stand, said Tommy Bruce, assistant director of the parks department.

The track and other features would require about 2 to 3 acres of the northwestern Forsyth property, which is not open yet, Bruce said.

"We want to build that BMX track over there also," he said. "Maybe those two can get together."

The request is the latest involving the 225-acre Eagle’s Beak site on Old Federal Road.

The North Georgia Model Aviators have been using the property for years to fly their planes. The BMX track, archery field and canoe launch are also included in its master plan.

"It’s going to be more like a hobby park," said Jerry Kinsey, parks director.

Forsyth County BMX has asked for about 6 acres for a track for the bicycle racing sport, in which both children and adults participate.

Like the BMX group, the remote control enthusiasts hope to have a facility where tournaments can be held, Bruce said.

Remote control, or RC, racers have said large matches can attract up to 400 people, according to Bruce.

Both groups have asked for dirt to be piled up, so they can build their tracks, and both need a tractor. To that end, Bruce said they could be a good fit together.

The costs of adding a RC track to the park, as well as estimates for revenue or fees, haven’t been determined, Bruce said. Rather, the group wanted to gauge the parks board’s interest.

With limited funds to develop the park, the county is ranking its priorities for the site while the architect prepares the plans and cost estimates.

"If this falls [on the bottom] on the list, we may not have the money to do it," Kinsey said.

The parks board seemed to be inclined to rank the RC track below the many other activities planned for the site. It also requested more information about costs and revenue.

A five-year financial report of the department’s estimated expenses and income is in the works for a presentation to the county commissioners at the end of March, Kinsey said.

"Then the commissioners can look at it and say it’s not bringing in enough money or if we don’t have the budget to take care of it, we won’t build it," he said.

Kinsey said recreation departments typically strive to bring in about 30 percent of their expenses in revenue through programs or fees.

In 2012, he said the department expects to return about 27 or 28 percent of its total budget to the county.

The parks board plans to meet in late March to review the five-year financial plans prior to the department’s presentation to the commission.