Car show and burnout competition gets approval from city commission

A new event scheduled for this fall in Ely has received approval from the city’s Planning Commission.
The Jake Forsman Memorial Car Show and Burnout Competition can now proceed on Saturday, Oct. 21 in front of the Ely City Hall on Chapman Street.
There was a good turnout for the hearing Wednesday night. The four members of the Planning Commission, along with city clerk Harold Langowski and attorney Kelly Klun took testimony, asked questions and approved the request with conditions.
There were several opposed to the idea. Not too surprising since these are the same people opposed to mining. Maybe they don’t like motors.
There were a number of people present in favor of the event which is modeled after a burnout competition held every year in Libby, Montana.
A major difference will be the large concrete barriers in place in Ely. Libby’s event has no barriers, just cars burning rubber on the main drag.
Albert Forsman did a nice job explaining the event and the safety precautions that would be in place. He pointed out the location is to help local businesses during what is usually a very slow time of the year.
Bringing people to town is a noble cause to start with and we’d like to thank Forsman for putting this event together.
As one observer pointed out, Ely is a diverse community. If we can have a canoe event we can certainly have a car event. Each one may attract a different crowd and that’s just fine. But to say we can only do certain types of events just won’t fly in our community. We need to be open minded and willing to look at new ideas.
There were conditions placed on the event, including the safety barriers, proper insurance, that the vehicles and drivers are properly licensed and so on. But there was really no valid reason brought up to stop the city from approving the request.
The police chief made it clear that the burnout performances will only be allowed in the designated area. Anyone spinning tires elsewhere in town will get a ticket, period.
The fire chief had some concerns about being able to access the fire hall in case a call does come in. Those concerns were addressed as well.
It truly was small town democracy in action. A request was brought forward, concerns were aired and addressed and in the end the city made the correct decision. There was even a round of applause from those in the audience.
Whether the event will be a success or not is yet to be seen, but we’re encouraged the event will take place and benefit our community.