Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Dixon Downs is Off to the Races

Dixon Downs is Off to the Races -- City Council Approves Race Track, Entertainment Complex
By Ian Thompson

DIXON - The Dixon City Council approved a development agreement to build the Dixon Downs race track in late Monday night decision.

Council councilman Steve Alexander cast the sole no vote saying he had concerns about traffic created by the track while other council members cited more jobs and economic prosperity as why they voted yes.

City Council deliberations on whether the Dixon Down's developer should widen the part of Pedrick Road south of the track degenerated into back-and-forth public negotiations late into the evening.

This was all part of the fifth night of council hearings on an agreement to allow Magna to build a state-of-the-art race track and entertainment complex just west of Pedrick Road which Magna says will bring money and jobs to Dixon.

Magna had already agreed to expand Pedrick Road from the race track's proposed entrance north to Interstate 80 to handle traffic going to and from the track.

But a council request to improve the roadway south of the entrance hit opposition from Magna representatives.

"The project is already saddled with $25 million in background infrastructure," said Magna attorney Cleve Livingston, pointing out that further improving the road to hit them with more up front costs.

Magna suggested that it would do some improvements south of the entrance while putting off for awhile paying into a joint powers authority to pay for improving groundwater drainage in the area.

Putting off paying for drainage improvements would allow Magna to shift that money to build the road improvements Dixon wanted.

The Pedrick Raid improvements was only one of several changes to the development agreement the council was getting consensus on before voting.

One proposed by Magna was to allow the developer to speed up some retail development it initially planned to do later, possibly building some of it before the track is finished.

Such flexibility would allow Magna to attract partners to set up stores and businesses there, Magna representative Loren Kumer said.

Dixon Downs supporters say the track will make Dixon a regional entertainment destination that is a more productive use for the land than what was proposed before.

Its opponents say the track will bring traffic congestion to northern Dixon, make it hard for Campbells Soup to keep its facility there and harm Dixon's small-town feel without living up to Magna's promises of economic prosperity.

Solano's Got It!

Solano's Got It!
The Best That Northern California Has To Offer.

Blog Archive