This past Tuesday May 30, 2017, the Winnebago County Park and Recreation committee held a publ…ic meeting about the future of Lifest and closing of the race track. Rob Way Park and Recreation department head led the conversation about the future of the race track and Lifest.

With threats from Rob Way, Parks Director, to the committee, quote, “This is not a threat but if you don’t vote in favor of these resolutions Lifest will leave”, please tell me how this isn’t a threat.

Several false documents sent to the county board.

A county board member asked last year, 2016, what the revenue from the race track over the years of the track. Rob way sent a spread sheet to the board members showing income of past promoters, Odyssey Productions and Wisconsin Motorsports, what they paid in rent as well as Impact Motorsports, current promoter. The spread sheet showed all the income but misleading information. Income from the past promoters showed all utilities, water, sewer, storm water runoff and electric. All this was included in their rent shown on the spread sheet. Impact Motorsport showed just the rent, no utilities, or advertising they had to pay the county. Rob Way did not include any of these utilities or the 10% advertising in the spread sheet. This would mislead the county’s thinking that the county was subsidizing the race track. When in fact Impact motorsports paid all the utilities plus the rent, Impact Motorsports has all the receipts showing they paid these bills. When questioned why he did not include the same for Impact Motorsports, Rob sent another spread sheet showing the rent without utilities and the results were about the same as what Impact Motorsports paid. How he came up with these numbers in such a short time, less than a day is beyond us. Jeff Lemiesz asked for the signed contracts from Wisconsin Motorsports and Odyssey and he could not provide these documents. He stated that the county purges records after 10 years. He in turn was asked how this could be true when in fact the county has all meeting minutes and records for the past 100 years, he could not explain.

With the County Parks and Recreation vote on Tuesday May 30, 2017 in favor of Lifest on these items,

Approval of Life Promotions, Inc. Ground Lease Agreement
Approval of Life Promotions, Inc. Multi-year Expo Rental Agreement
Approval of Stage Facility
All 5-0

What this means, is a recommendation will be going in Front of the Winnebago County Board June 20, 2017 for the approval for demolishing of the race track for preparations for Lifest to build a permanent stage on the back stretch area of the race track for once a year event, Lifest that is the first week of July each year.

Lifest’s future rent for 2018 and 2019 will be just a dollar, $1.00. If any other venue wants to come in and put on a show whether it be for one day or a multi-day event the cost of renting the stage starts at $10,000.00 which is paid to Lifest plus what the county charges for the grounds. A county board member asked what the county is getting in return for giving Lifest more room for camping and parking, which Lifest will reap the benefits, Rob Way stated that the county will receive nothing until after 10 years when the stage becomes property of the county. When another board member asked, why give up 24 Friday nights verses 1 weekend event, Rob Way stated they would be able to bring in other events that would help generate income. They were then asked if they had any events lined up to come in and was told this could take several years, 5 to 10 years. How can the Parks Department afford to promote a stage and venue when they don’t have money to pay for upkeep on a park given to them by the Landfill department, this was another item on the agenda which they asked the Landfill department to help pay expenses for maintenance and upkeep saying the Parks Department is broke!

With this all being said there will be a county board vote June 20, 2017 on the fate of the race track. If the county board approves these resolutions the race track will be demolished and the grounds prepared at Winnebago Tax payers expense which they will see no benefits from.

Let’s not see this happen. Please come to the board meeting June 20, 2017 and the Winnebago County Court House at 6:00 PM. You can come and show support or talk and say your piece.