Questions to Answer from City of Sugar Land - 2CoolFishing
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:49 AM   #1
cjtamu
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Questions to Answer from City of Sugar Land

City of Sugar Land has asked that we submit a Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Request to them for the track. It needs to come from someone with a S'Land address, so I'll be submitting it, probably early next week. This is essentially the first step in the proposal we've been talkign about, but I'd like to fill in as many gaps as possible. Questions like "what type of improvement" and "provide a detailed description of the location" I have handled. We do have a location in mind, but don't want to post it up until after we submit. But it's easy access from all of Fort Bend County, as well as SW Harris. We met at SH 99/Westpark Tollroad last night and it took me 17 minutes to get back to the site. Water, electricity are at the site already, would just have to be tapped into.

I want feedback on two questions:

1) "Why do you feel the improvement is needed"? I already have large number of RC enthusiasts in S'Land Fort Bend who need a place to run (which keeps the cars otu of the streets, parking lots, etc.), economic benefits to the city, place that children and teens can easily access. It's also an amenity that no other city in proximity has (Harlingen has one, Killeen has one at the base, and they were trying for one in (I think?) Leander, but still not done) and is a positive for S'Land Parks and Rec. If you have other ideas, post them up.

2) "Describe the (sic) your recommended solution". Obviously, we want to build a track, but we need more details. Parking will have to be addressed, I need to get out and look at the site. Previously mentioned water and power. May need some offset for detention, I'm going to take a closer look at the site this weekend. Noise should not be an issue where we're looking, it's surrounded by commercial development. These are all questions I can handle. Insurance is also something we may have to address. Preferable if the City would handle, but there are other options. More difficult is an org to oversee track design and maintenance, insurance (if needed), run races, etc. We hope to make use of the club we already have, if that won't work then we'll have to create a new one. Not quite sure how to approach pit space, whether to shoot for some permanent tables or just bring your own. Anyone know what type of electrical specs we'd need? Ron? Who pays for the dirt and equipment for the build, then later rebuilds, maintenance, etc? Need feedback on this question also. Think ahead, and think about what else we'd need both for play and if we were going to race. Post your ideas up.

Additional details on insurance. ROAR has been mentioned and we discussed last night. The problem with that is, to be covered you have to be a ROAR member. That's okay, but if you're building an amenity in a public park, how do you enforce it? If you gate it off and restrict access, how do people get out there to play? You have to go to the City and show your current membership, get a key or something? Hassle not only for us, but for the City, which we don't want. If you leave access unrestricted, then you have to have someone there all the time checking membership or run the risk of people that aren't covered using it. There is another option that we'll look at if needed that would cover the track without membership.

One more item, we believe we have a timing system already. Suweet! This is one of the things I'd discussed with Parks last time, and they wanted us to supply.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:56 AM   #2
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I refurb laptops and will supply one for the lap counter. It may not be pretty, but fully functional.

I also know someone that sells insurance if it comes to that.

Will
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:01 AM   #3
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Cool, Will. Not sure if you were there when we talked about insurance last night, but I think Mark had the solution. If there's a company that specializes in this type of insurance, that's primo. I remember you saying you could furnish the laptop, that's awesome. I have a call in to Parks and Rec now to see how much detail they're looking for in this CIP so I know how far to take things.
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Old 03-13-2009, 10:07 AM   #4
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If more computers or even a PA System is needed I have that covered
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:56 PM   #5
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Chris, not sure if they do this type of thing but K&K insurance is who pretty much every 1:1 track in the country uses. They might do RC stuff too.
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Old 03-13-2009, 03:44 PM   #6
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Thanks Todd. CD has a link on his site, I haven't looked to see who it is yet. Best case is that the City insures, which I think is pretty doable. Since we're talking right now about going into an existing multi-use facility, it's already insured. My guess is it only becomes an issue if the underwriter doesn't like the use you're adding. IMO RC is less risk than what's already going on, but just want to be prepared if needed. Had about a 1/2 hour phone conversation with Sugar Land Parks today, extremely helpful, really helped me with what to focus on.
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Old 03-14-2009, 08:32 AM   #7
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Back when ANTR was still around, Kyle Sokool and I were good friends and he used to tell me about his parks and recreation track that they would race and practice/have fun at in Clearwater, FL. From the pics I recalled, it was more than just an RC park, they had a near by playground, walking trails and had even built a pond for fishing and boating. Not sure that the city is ready to do all this, but, I think the idea would be to consider it as a multi-use facility and not JUST an RC park to get the city to buy off on it. To me, you make other ammenities available and the council or whoever votes on it will not look at it as just one kind of place.

Case in point, think about the Velodrome over in Katy near Barker Cypress - that park has soccer fields, baseball fields, playgrounds, plus a picnic area for BBQing. I'm sure someone originally wanted a Velodrome first and probably pitched a similar story line of getting bikers off the road and that competition could be held, etc. But notice that the park was not just the Velodrome.

So, when they ask, why do you "feel" the improvement is needed, you have to pull on the compelling story from all aspects. In that particular location, what is the nearest park and recreation area that is not part of a neighborhood? What is the closest facility? How many people in that area could be potentially served by it? Is there a large teen or kid loitering issue in the areas surrounding the area? Would this give those teens or kids a place to go hang out that should be a safe and fun place? etc. I think getting the answers to those things, while toting the RC park/track line will lead you in the right direction.

As for #2, they are assuming that when you "feel" there is a need for improvement that means that you believe there is an "issue" or a "problem" or "pain point" that you need to "solve." With that, they want a visionary picture of how you recommend the city to address this "issue" and what the area would look like. You basically answer all of the "issues" and points you raise in #1 with a consolidated response that creates this park and recreation area.

I know that probable gets you none of the "answers" you are looking for, but hopefully that focuses you in the right direction bro.

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Old 03-14-2009, 10:33 AM   #8
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Also remeber that most insurances will require the track to have a fence that will contain the vehicles(otherwise they have to provide possibly insurance for spectators which raises premiums a lot more). These are all types of improvements you need to consider, also it must conform to the handycapped(if it falls into their ordinances) as well, that means a ramp to specs(1" drop per 12" of run, this raises the cost of initial investment as well). To also make it more effective, make sure to mention that locals are willing to donate equipment and the time to do the work and labor so that does not fall under the cities budget. Look into seeing if people can contatc local companies and see if they will help by donating for the project and to once again reduce the cost to the city. Propose it to the local companies that it will help bring in revenue to their businesses from all around the city/state/country(if hold large races). The less you require from the city the easier it will be to get their support.

Others have already covered the main questions. These might have already been covered as well but thought I would just voice an outside eye in too. One other item if not already there would to suggest a small playground(swing and slides) for the younger children of the families who race(that is if they are not already located close to the area your looking at). This will reduce their risk of getting injured from the racing cars on the track since they will be playing in a seperate location away from the cars.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:10 AM   #9
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Another idea is to look for grants for this facility. They are out there all you have to do is find them and apply. This way very little money comes out of the Cities budget for this or next fiscal year, and very little money comes out of individuals pockets.

Mainly all I do is criminal justice and law research but I will look and see if I can find any grants out there that apply and are available.
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Old 03-16-2009, 01:03 PM   #10
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Thanks Tol and Lloyd. Tol is correct, drivers stand, etc. will have to meet ADA stds. Good idea anyway, but it will have to here. Fenced is good, kicking around the idea of a covered or enclosed facility in my head even. More cost up front, but saves wear and tear on the dirt. They said I don't have to get into those types of details for the CIP request, but they're helpful to have b/c if they like the proposal and want to go forward it's the next step. Lloyd, LMK what you find on grants.

Looked at the site on Sunday. Really good for a lot of reasons. One of them is that it's in or adjoining an existing multi-use facility, so the amenities Tol talked about are already there. All appears to be upland, don't forsee any costly permitting issues. I'll start writing the CIP tonight, it will take several days to get it done. Still need to see how we're going to structure an org to essentially be the parent for the track, more on that later. There are a few good options, trying to see what will fit best. Beyond finally answering that question, I think we're going to have a really strong proposal.
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