Motocross permit approved in Southwick

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The Board of Selectmen signed off on a permit last night for the American Legion to continue running motocross events.

Chairman Russell Fox said selectmen approved the language written by town counsel that covers use of town-owned land. “The school also has to sign-off on that,” said Fox. For years, motocross organizers have used several acres of land owned by the town that is part of the school district use. The land is approximately four acres and is not actively used by the schools.

“We agreed on a payment of $2,000,” Fox said this morning. “They also have an agreement with a private property owner to use his land. I believe they are paying him $5,000, so we wanted to be fair and make this affordable for the Legion.”

The American Legion Post 338 will hold the permit, and will then allow another group – including Mike Grondahl and Gary Yelin – to organize and run motocross events.“Who they choose to run it is their business,” said Fox of the American Legion. In the past, the town has charged $1,000 for a three-year permit and the board agreed last night to a one-year, $350 permit fee to get the events up and running. Fox said he believes the agreement is fair.“It allows motocross to continue and protects the town,” said Fox of the agreement and permit. “All in all it’s a good arrangement and I think it’s a win-win.”Fox praised Selectman Joseph Deedy for serving as a liaison between the board, Legion, organizers and attorneys.

“Mr. Deedy did an excellent job,” said Fox. Grondahl said the MX338 track – affectionately called “The Wick” in motocross circles, is very sentimental.“It’s the first place I ever raced,” he said. “It had a big impact on me.”Grondahl isn’t the only one. At a public forum on the topic in late March, the Town Hall auditorium was filled with residents overwhelmingly supporting the continuation of the track.“It’s part of Southwick,”

Media Credit: The Westfield News

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