WALTON _ Rally New York wants to return to Walton, but people who live on the roads where the races will be held are not happy about the proposal.
A public informational meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Walton Town Hall at 129 North Street.
Rally New York held a two-day road race event on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 that featured special racing stages on sections of Chase Brook Road and Carcass Brook Road in the towns of Tompkins and Walton. The ceremonial race finish was held on the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Walton.
Walton Town Supervisor John Meredith said the group is now proposing holding races in the spring and fall and including several additional roads in the racing stages.
Walton Town Clerk Ronda Williams said the proposed roads include Dunk Hill Road, Dunk Hill Spur, Left Pines Brook Road, Walton Mountain Road, Finch Hollow, Mormon Hollow, Dry Brook Road, Beers Brook Road, Houck Mountain Road, Chase Brook Road and Carcass Brook Road.
Williams said Rally New York promoters Rich Otis and Ivan Orisek will be at the public meeting to answer questions from the public.
Al Grust, of Beers Brook Road, is circulating a petition opposing the road races.
"I was basically against it just because they were going to close the roads," Grust said. "Then I found out that they race at speeds of over 120 miles per hour."
Grust said there are at least 16 houses on Beers Brook Road that are situated close enough to the road to risk being struck if one of the speeding vehicles loses control.
"I cannot believe (Walton Town Board members) are even thinking about this," Grust said. "The common consensus on Beers Brook is that this is crazy."
Grust said residents have to have special permission from the race organizers to leave their house during the races.
"You have to call them on their cell phones and hope they have reception," Grust said. "They will show up at your house within an hour if they think you have a good enough reason to leave.
"What if someone needs an ambulance?" Grust asked.
Veronica Terney Cosenza said her elderly parents live on Beers Brook Road and she fears for their safety.
"You can't jeopardize people like this," Cosenza said. "I couldn't imagine a race being held on any of those back roads."
Jim Haggerty, of Houck Mountain Road, said he was willing to weigh the benefits to the town against the benefits to the race company.
"If there is some good for the town, I would consider it," Haggerty said. "But the guy from the rally company admitted they go at very high speeds on residential roads.
"That presents a lot of liability and personal injury accident potential," Haggerty said.
Grust and Haggerty both said they searched for road rally information on Google and found videos of fiery fatal accidents.
During the 2008 event, Chase Brook Road and Carcass Brook Road from Readburn Road to the Hancock town line were closed from 7:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 to 5:45 p.m.
The car rally consists of special stages linked together by transit sections. The rally cars are typically small sedans such as a Subaru Impreza or a Mitsubishi Evo.
During the special stages on public roads closed to civilian traffic, the rally cars start at one-minute intervals and race against the clock.
On the transit sections, the rally cars drive in regular traffic and obey all traffic laws. If a competitor is observed speeding on a transit section, he is penalized and may be disqualified from the rally, organizers said.
Organizers warn people not to enter the closed roads until the "road opening vehicle" with the flashing green strobe light passes their location.
Meredith said that following the October-November event he only received positive feedback, which led the board to move forward with considering expanding the events.
"The only complaint I heard was that people didn't know where and what time the races were," Meredith said. "I hear so often that nothing goes on here, so we saw this as an opportunity to bring an event to town."