EC citizens ask council to rescue festival, BMX track
A pair of citizens approached the East Carbon City Council Tuesday night to discuss saving a pair of assets which will be lost without attention and action.
The session began when town resident Mark Martinez approached the council about putting on a Cinco De Mayo event.
As recently as two years ago, Cinco De Mayo was celebrated in East Carbon and Sunnyside with such verve that it rivaled Community Daze in the eyes of many locals. And then it died.
Without warning, in 2013 the event simply didn't happen. According to a member of the planning committee present during Tuesday's meeting, board member commitments and a general lack of stopped the event from being planned.
"You know we didn't have an event last year," said East Carbon citizen Mark Martinez, who approached the council about putting on a smaller event in May. "And if we go two years with no celebration it's going to be twice as hard to get it going again."
Martinez asked the council to allow for a day long event in the Viking Park to be followed by a number of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) bouts at the community center in Sunnyside. That event would then be followed by a dance featuring live Mexican music.
Martinez stated that he has been in negotiations with B&B Production who put on a MMA and boxing event in 2011 at the Carbon County Events Center.
The "Mayhem and Motors," event was well attended and mixed weekend motocross races with the MMA and boxing card.
According to Martinez, he plans to put on a much smaller bout card and was looking for council support.
His request was met with a multitude of questions and concerns from security and permitting to alcohol and planning.
"We need to see more information that what you have brought before us tonight," said Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Robinett. "These events take a great deal of planning and support and we need to see more details that a general idea of what you are looking at doing."
City Council Member Phillip Holt, who is also a sergeant with the East Carbon Police Department, had serious concerns about the added security that would be needed to put on an event like Martinez was requesting.
According to Holt, an extra eight police officers would have to be contracted at $20 an hour to reinforce the four officers who work in East Carbon. With Community Daze only two months away, he stated that the security cost alone was more than the city could bear.
The council asked Martinez to pull together liability information from the fight contractor and consider downsizing his plans before approaching the council at their next session where a decision will be made.
In addition to Cinco De Mayo, the city's BMX tract was addressed by a local resident on Tuesday night. Bryan Mena approached the council, who had decided at their last meeting to half the venue, stating that to remove any portion of the tract was tantamount to destroying it.
"That track was designed the was it was for a reason," said Mena. "If you take pieces out of it you might was well take it all down. It was designed to ride the way it was built."
Mena asked the council to review their decision and consider leaving the tract as it is.
When constructed, the tract was governed by the city's police force who oversaw sanctioned races at the venue and created a sub-culture of BMX riding youth in the town. After several years, interest in the dirt facility waned and weeds began to take over the area. As the venue was used less and less, the announcers tower fell into disrepair and was broken into on several occasions. The city had decided to take down the tower when they voted to half the track.
After hearing from Mena, the council still plans to remove the tower from the track, but they tabled their decision to alter the actual riding area pending further discussion.