Bike Pit revs up city's role in park

Kyle Peterson and Nathan Perkes take flight on a jump at the Pilot Rock Motocross and ATV park in '07.<br><I>File photo

Pilot Rock's off-road recreation site, The Bike Pit, is seeking a grant that could add up to $35,000 for a master plan for the OHV park.

But of that amount, $7,000 must be matching funds from The Bike Pit and from the city. The Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation's Oregon ATV grant program provides the remaining $28,000.

The question of whether or not city funds should go toward the park, which has been primarily supported by volunteers, brought the city council and OHV park board together at a work session Monday night.

For many supporters of pit, there seemed to be no question as to whether or not the city should support it. They saw it as a key to Pilot Rock's future with the potential to attract and businesses.

Mark Street, a member of The Bike Pit board, said he saw the grant as a chance to put more than volunteer work into the park.

"The park's totally been built by volunteers," Street said. "... It's been a select few people putting in a lot of work and effort to make this happen. Now we have the opportunity to bring in help, maybe hire some people to make it a nice place."

City council members John Standley and Nancy Lankford asked for a line item in the city budget designating how much money would go to each park in town, including The Bike Pit.

"I want to do this legally and legitimate wise, and be fiscally responsible," Standley said. "I need a line item in the budget where we're going to put $500 or $5,000 or $50,000 a year into supporting or building or being involved in the development of The Bike Pit."

The Bike Pit sits on city land that Standley pointed out was once marked for an additional sewer pond. He said kink needed to be ironed out before any big plans for the OHV park.

City Manager Paul Koch said forming a contract, lease or agreement with The Bike Pit board would clarify the city's role. He read over 12 points for the city and park board to agree upon..

Those present agreed on all points except one - the first, which dictated the park follow a master plan "as determined by a joint session with the city council."

Standley said he'd like to continue The Bike Pit without a master plan.

Steve Draper, who is the city public works supervisor but was at the meeting as a Bike Pit board member, said a master plan opens the door for the park to apply for grants.

Koch said the agreement between the city and the park board may or may not include a master plan. The council and pit board decided to begin crafting the agreement without the master plan.

The Bike Pit would be responsible for events and improvements to the park, including the track itself.

The agreement also specified two layers of insurance to cover the city's liability both during regular park hours and special events.

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