MALONE -- Plans are under way to open a race track at the former Malone International Raceway and Entertainment Park site on Route 11.

But details of the events and schedule for the Malone Speedway will not be shared publicly by track manager and promoter John "Chick" Fountain until sometime next week.

He successfully applied to the Malone Town Council Thursday for water service to the site to serve the main concession area, 18 toilets, four sinks and two outside faucets.

But he declined through an investor to comment on anything about the operation and discouraged others involved from speaking about the plans as well.

Rob Schmitt, a former racer, is helping to run the facility while Fountain will manage the operation.

Schmitt is also an investor in UICC Holding LLC, the corporation that owns the former Hotel Flanagan property in downtown Malone, which is scheduled to become an 88-room Best Western franchise.

UICC owns the 280-some acres on which the racetrack sits, but the operations are up to Schmitt and Fountain, said Frank Cositore Jr., president and chief executive officer of UICC.

According to a Web site for Malone Speedway, drivers have been taking practice laps on the track for a few days, and races were to begin last week but were delayed.

A wooden fence erected around the property can be seen from Route 11, and a dirt driveway leading up to the track sits just before the parking lot of the Market Barn.

Once on the property, visitors can see the oval track, the steel fencing and high-powered lights atop poles to illuminate the action.

The former racetrack opened about 13 years ago after much controversy about the depth of the environmental-impact review the town had to conduct concerning parking, noise and water runoff from the property.

Town Supervisor Howard Maneely, who was not in office at that time, said Thursday during a special meeting of the Town Council that since nothing had changed in the environmental aspects of the property since then, there is no need for a fresh environmental study.

The racetrack is opening under the title Malone Management Speedway Inc. and advertises as serving three nations: the United States, Canada and the St. Regis Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne.

Maneely said the track can open whenever it wants as long as it passes State Department of Health regulations and has the final occupancy approval of Code Enforcement Officer Robert Crossman.

"I'm not a race fan myself, but we need things like this to bring people to Malone to spend their bucks," the supervisor said.

draymo@pressrepublican.com

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