FORT ANN — From Tracy and Dan Monahan’s porch, the view to the east is a panorama of hills and mountains in the background, with Country Meadows Golf Course in the foreground.
The golf course is part of their daily life. It’s visible through the dining room and family room windows.
When Jeremy Treadway, a former race car driver who sells motorcycles, snowmobiles and off-road vehicles at Treadway Motorsports in Ticonderoga, first saw Country Meadows as he was driving on Route 149 past the golf course and the Monahans’ house, he saw something he had been searching for.
“When I drove by, I saw the perfect place to build a motocross track,” Treadway said in a telephone interview Friday. “To be honest, I drove past, drove back, found the owner (of the golf course) and asked if they ever thought about selling.”
Treadway now has the 106-acre site under contract and has filed plans for a 15-foot-wide and 4,300-foot-long motocross track with Fort Ann Planning Board. The board got its first look at the plans at its May 23 meeting and will consider them again at 7 p.m. June 27.
Tracy Monahan found out the next day, and she was stunned to hear that very few other people in town were aware of what she thinks will be a major change for Fort Ann.
“Nobody knew this was coming. I am still talking to people who don’t know about it. I think people need to be informed,” Monahan said Sunday at her home.
“My opinion is that sound travels, and, yes, we are right next door, but this is all farmland up here, and I think people will be able to hear it on Farley Road, Hadlock Pond Road, Goodman Road, Tripoli Road, Nichols Road, Mattison Road and Cartier Lane.
As part of the application process, Treadway had a series of sound tests done while running a motocross motorcycle at the site. He said it is important to him to do as professional a job as possible with the track. He will be living in a house on the property.
Treadway is planning to have the track constructed by MX Track Builders, an Illinois-based firm that has been building tracks all over the world for 10 years. He said some of the work will be done by Galusha & Sons LLC of Queensbury. “We want to use local firms as much as we can.”
Treadway said he hopes the track, which will be built to the standards of the American Motorcyclist Association, can be under construction this summer and finished later in the year. He said he does not plan on holding racing until next year, but would like to do some training later this year.
The Monahans are more interested in making sure residents know about the project and that it is thoroughly discussed before work begins.
Fort Ann does not having zoning, so much like the Dollar General project that was highly debated earlier this year, the track is an allowable use so long as Treadway follows the proper application process.
The Monahans will be holding an informational session on the track at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Fort Ann firehouse. The topic will also be on the June 13 Town Board agenda, and the Planning Board meeting is June 27. Those meetings are usually held at Town Hall, but in the past, the town has moved them to the firehouse when large crowds are expected.
Tracy Monahan did a two-year stint on the Planning Board, so she knows the drill.
“I know this is not a Town Board issue, but they represent the whole town and they need to know what people think about this,” she said. “And we need to have as many people as we can at the Planning Board meeting so they know what people think about this.”
For his part, Dan Monahan wonders about two specific questions.
“My biggest question is what this is going to do for the town,” he said. “There’s a business already there, taxes are being paid and the golf course employs four people, which is what the track is going to employ,” he said. “The other thing I wonder is why we need another motocross track in the county. There is already one in Granville and another in Greenwich. Why do we need one in Fort Ann?”
Treadway said his planned track will be much larger than the local tracks and will draw from a much wider area, including much of New England, New York and New Jersey.
He said it will also bring a great deal of commerce to Fort Ann and surrounding towns.
“Right now, people drive to Maine or New Hampshire or New Jersey for motocross. This track will draw them here,” he said.
The track will focus on amateur youth riders and will include training classes. Racing events will include between two and 20 riders on the track at the same time. He said that while he does not plan professional racing — which requires a more difficult track — he would be able to adjust the track if the AMA approaches him about professional racing.
He compared his plans to tracks such as Winchester (New Hampshire) Speedpark, Royal Mountain Ski Area and Motocross in Fulton County, MX207 in Lyman, Maine, and Raceway Park’s motocross facility in Englishtown, New Jersey.
Treadway said racing and training will take place during the day and only until dusk. He said the site is irrigated, and he does not expect dust will be an issue.
“We are not trying to do anything we should not be able to do. We are not trying to push any boundaries,” he said. “We are focused on families. Once a family gets involved in racing, they stay involved. All of these families are going to other places. We will give them a place to go around here.”
The motocross plan does not have to get Adirondack Park Agency approval because the park begins just beyond the eastern border of the golf course.