By Susan Monteleone
NARROWSBURG June 1, 2004 Ivan Orisek, Chairman and Clerk of the Works for Rally New York, recently approached the Tusten Town Board about the possibility of holding a Rally on roads within the Town of Tusten.
Rally New York recently held a similar event to the one being proposed for Tusten. That event, which took place on April 17, was hosted by the Towns of Forestburgh and Lumberland here in Sullivan County and the Town of Colchester in neighboring Delaware County.
Orisek proposed that the Tusten event take place on a Saturday in the first part of October and then possibly holding another Rally event in April 2005.
Rally New York is a stage rally, with a number of special stations that are linked together by transit stations. The special stations are held on public or private roads that are closed to traffic during the rally. The rally then has cars start at one-minute intervals and drive at full speed. The format of the rally is a time trial and there is no open-wheel racing.
On the transit section that links the special sections together, the rally cars drive in regular traffic and obey all traffic laws. If a competitor is observed speeding on a transit section, he is penalized and may be disqualified from the rally, Orisek said.
Orisek added that the rally cars are typically small sedans such as Subaru Imprezas and are street legal, as well as properly insured and licensed.
The rally event being proposed for the Town of Tusten would consist of about 60 cars.
Orisek added that he would like the road rally to take place this fall on the following roadways: Cochecton Turnpike from New York State Route 97 to the intersection with Deep Hollow Road. Turn onto Deep Hollow Road, then turn left after the two stone pillars, turn right onto Mahls Pond Road and return to Cochecton Turnpike in a easterly direction. Then the rally cars would drive to Swamp Pond Road, from the town line going south, then turn right before the intersection with Route 23, going alongside Route 23 and crossing Route 23 to Brook Road.
A spectator area would be on Mahls Pond Road, with the aforementioned roadways being closed for roughly two hours. The event itself carries insurance coverage of $5 million.
Town of Tusten Planning Board Chairman Ed Jackson stated to the board that The recent road rally in Sullivan County was a huge success and brought in many people. The track marshals are on top of everything and it is a safe event. I witnessed the most recent event and I think it would be great to bring the event to Tusten.
Highway Superintendent Ben Johnson added, If we were to hold such a event, a public hearing would have to be held to let the public decide if they want the event to come here. It sounds like a good idea, but we have to see what the community wants.
He further polled the board members to get their opinion and the board members subsequently agreed to hold a public hearing 30 minutes prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting. The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 14.
A possible decision about holding a Rally New York event in the Town of Tusten could be made at the boards July meeting.