Bandimere Speedway cancels more events as Jefferson County defends its public health order

Bandimere Speedway cancels more events as Jefferson County defends its public health order

The months-long dispute between the Bandimere Speedway and Jefferson County Public Health continued during the weekend, with the Morrison racetrack canceling more events and the county defending its public health plan as it seeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“After three days of numerous attempts to comply with the restrictions being placed on the drag strip due to the current COVID-19, they were ultimately unable to get the approval from the Jefferson County Health Department,” Bandimere Speedway said in a statement posted to its website.

The racetrack had planned a weekend of outdoor entertainment for local racers and their families, but as they lined up at the racer entrance gate, they were “visibly stunned” when the Bandimere family told them the weekend’s racing events were canceled, the speedway said. The family-owned track also alleged that Jefferson County Public Health officials canceled a meeting with the Bandimeres to work on a plan for the events.

On Friday night, Jefferson County responded in a news release, saying it had heard through social media, emails and in the media “inaccurate claims that events have been ‘cancelled by JCPH.’ ”

The state’s guidelines for outdoor events had been in place for over a month, public health officials said, and they had been working with other venues on ways to operate while adhering to the state’s requirements. On Monday, the department issued a public health order requiring venues hosting outdoor events to submit a plan that demonstrates compliance with the state’s order.

“The goal of each action taken by JCPH is not to punish any of our area businesses or organizations, but to keep the people within our community safe and healthy,” the department said.

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