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In Hudson, racetrack noise can’t be ignored

Union Leader Correspondent

November 17. 2013 9:40PM

HUDSON — Selectmen are hoping to tackle Hudson Speedway noise well before the coming spring season revs up.

Town Administrator Steve Malizia, at a meeting last week, said the plan is to invite the race track’s owner to an upcoming meeting to discuss neighbors’ noise complaints.

Selectman Roger Coutu said parking along the nearby roads has also been the source of frequent complaints, as some of the “no parking” signs once posted along Old Derry, Robinson and Boyd roads have disappeared.

Many agreed the speedway should be closed about 45 minutes to an hour earlier to address some of the nighttime noise and parking woes.

“We’re thinking that 10 p.m. would be a sufficient closing time,” Coutu said. “Especially on a Sunday night, when people have to get up and go to work on Monday.”

Malizia said a public hearing would need to be scheduled in order to officially ask speedway officials to change their business hours.

“I don’t want us to do anything in a vacuum,” board Chairman Rick Maddox said. “We need to address this sooner rather than later. It’s the fair thing to do.”

Track owner Bob Webber wasn’t present at this week’s meeting, and selectmen noted he typically spends the winter season out of state. The plan is to contact him in time for an upcoming meeting, town officials said, giving Webber the option of being present for a scheduled public hearing.

The speedway, located at 120 Old Derry Road, closed for the season in mid-October and will open again this spring.

During a board meeting in early August, speedway neighbor Shawn Jasper said the race track has been a good neighbor in the past, but the noise has become a problem.

“Unfortunately, for those of us who live nearby, closing the windows and turning on the air conditioning doesn’t alleviate the noise,” Jasper told selectmen. “I don’t have a huge problem with it until 10 p.m., when I’d like to turn in and get some sleep.”

According to Hudson’s noise ordinance, mufflers are required on the track’s race cars, but Jasper, a former selectman, wondered whether the board had enforced that rule over the past decade.

“I think it’s time to look into this,” he said.

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