The city of Bowling Green is working through a deal that would see its Glen Lily landfill turned into a massive motorsports venue.
The city is working with Sye Head of SK Powersports Promotions of Russellville and his partner Kash Moore on a deal to transfer ownership of the landfill property.
The property first came to Head’s attention as he was looking for a venue for a Grand National Cross Country off-road racing event scheduled for May 16-17. The city commission in January agreed to lease the land to Head for the event.
Head has also been planning to build a “Disneyland of Powersports” in the region, and he said the landfill site was a perfect spot “the first time I ever saw the property.”
Head called Matt Powell, the city’s environmental manager, and said, “What you have is exactly what I need.”
The city opened the 30-acre landfill in the middle of a 270-acre tract at 5301 Glen Lily Road in 1973. The landfill closed in 1981, with the city continuing to monitor the site and clear off any leachate – water that has percolated through the landfill materials.
The main issue the city is working through is ensuring that the landfill portion of the property be properly monitored and maintained.
“We’ve engaged an environmental attorney” to look at the proposal, Bowling Green Mayor Bruce Wilkerson said. “You can transfer the property, but you don’t transfer all the liability.”
While the details of the land transfer are still being worked out, the idea to transfer or sell the property for a nominal amount was briefly mentioned at a city retreat last week with no objections.
“Obviously (transferring ownership of the landfill) is a benefit to us,” Wilkerson said. “It gets us out of the landfill business.”
Powell said it costs the city about $20,000 to deal with the leachate each year. There are occasionally other costs, such as when vents need repairs, he said.
He said the landfill is now capped by a thick liner and dirt, so “it’s actually super stable,” but when it was first closed it required constant monitoring, which was “very expensive.”
The city has a permit to dump things like storm debris it collects on the 270 acres, “so we would have to find another spot” for that, Powell said, adding that finding four or five acres for that use should not be an issue.
Wilkerson said the city commission can transfer or sell property without a bidding process if it is for economic development.
Also, “I don’t really think too many people are interested in buying a landfill,” the mayor said.
Except, of course, for someone looking for a large tract of land near Bowling Green to build a massive motorsports park.
Head said he recently flew in a premiere track builder to look at the property and help start the design process.
The facility, to be called PowerPlex Park, will feature permanent bathroom/shower facilities, a parking lot and facilities to accommodate up to 20,000 attendees and numerous tracks, including cross country, Grand Prix, motocross, a circle track, flat drag course and an enduro course.
“There’s so much land available,” Head said.
There are also plans to have concerts at the facility. Head said he and Moore have connections with people involved in the Nashville music scene.
Head said the economic impact for the community on an annual basis will be in the “tens of millions of dollars. It will cost us north of seven figures to build it.”
He said that they will look at permanently capping the 30-acre landfill area based on what is recommended by environmental experts.
“We want to be best friends with the EPA,” Head said.
Head said everything is going well in terms of planning for the May event, which is estimated to bring 15,000 spectators or more to Bowling Green and have a $3 million to $4 million economic impact for the region.
– Follow News Director Wes Swietek on Twitter @BGDNgovtbeat or visit bgdailynews.com.