BOARDMAN - If the state land use appeals board gives a green light to a proposed NASCAR-style racetrack near Boardman, the Port of Morrow will keep working to build the project - even if the current developer can't come through with the money to complete it.

"If we have the land-use approval in place and upheld, and the developer is not successful, we'll continue to pursue it anyway," said Gary Neal, port director.

While California businessman Stelian Onufrei already has paid the port $133,000 for costs incurred through developing the project's land use application and responding to two appeals, he still owes $115,549, according to Lisa Mittelsdorf, the port's economic development director.

The port's land-use application for the $500 million racetrack includes seating for 145,000 spectators, a 1.95-mile oval track, a drag strip and possibly a dirt track.

The facility would also include office space, a gift shop, a 2,500-square-foot arcade, 5,000 tent camping sites, a 3,500-space RV park, several restaurants and parking for 43,500 vehicles.

Onufrei could not be reached by phone this week and a Web site that described the project is no longer online.

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