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April 19, 2013

Bikes ready to rev at Harpersfield track

By Joe Mahoney
The Daily Star

---- — The New York Safety Track — a motorcycle training facility in the Delaware County town of Harpersfield — is putting the finishing touches on the complex, and expects to open its door to the public next month, the track’s manager said Thursday.

The track will have “close to 30 workers” when it opens, said Greg Lubinitsky, noting he already has eight full-time employees.

“Every single person that we hired had been unemployed, so these people are very excited to be working again,” Lubinitsky said.

The project — located on a 147-acre tract that includes Mountain Top Airport off Zimmerman Road — has rankled some nearby homeowners who say they fear it will eventually be used for racing cars and motorcycles.

“If it was a racetrack, it would not only cost so much, but her would be so many liability issues,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to pursue that.”

He vowed that the track will be “run in a positive manner.” It will be open from May through October, he said, and will only be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., so there will be no need for bright outdoor lighting.

Lubinitsky said he did not have information immediately available on the total cost of the work and improvements being done at the site.

Harpersfield Town Supervisor James Eisel said he believes the cost of the upgrades at the track is between between $1.5 million and $2 million.

“The concern you hear from some people is that he is going to have competitive racing up there,” said Eisel, who is also the chairman of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors. “But what (Lubinitsky) he has told us is that this is going to be a training facility, with training for beginning, intermediate and advanced.”

The track, Eisel said, has the potential to spark business growth in the region.

“I hope it’s a success,” he said. “It certainly would be a great shot in the arm for the town of Harpersfield, and what comes from that is more business for a lot of the small retailers, the coffee shop, the grocery store, the motels. It can only help.”

Track opponent Michael Blaine of Harpersfield said he and other critics of the project are concerned with a “widely expanded” plan that he said Lubinitsky has presented to town officials, one that would potentially resulted in an expanded parking lot, a second hangar building and even a church.

Lubinitsky said that while did mention a church to accommodate a member of the track board he described as very religious, there are currently no plans to build a house of worship at the site.

As for the opponents, Lubinitsky said, “I have tried to accommodate everyone as best as I could. But some people don’t want to listen. I always have an open invitation to come talk to me. Everyone has my card. Everyone has my info.”

The facility’s web site promotes the track — marked by many curves and turns — as a thrilling experience.

“Located at what seems like the top of the world, a sense of euphoria comes over you when looking up at the sky from the paddock letting the fresh air fill your lungs and the beautiful trees bring life to the track,” a promotional blurb states. “The unique micro-climate never lets it be too hot or too cold making for the perfect conditions.”