The Citizens For Peaceful Country Living is a group opposing the proposed opening next spring of Mercer County Motor Sports in Illinois. The facility could be classified as a campground or an RV park with off-road trails suitable for riding UTVs and motorcycles, according to a report.
“It’s an outdoor motor park,” said Jason Kellett, who runs Landmark Landscaping in Aledo. His son, Evan, is slated to run the park he is hoping to have open on the first day of April.
“It’s cheap entertainment. For a charge of $25 per unit, you show up, you sign in, you get to go in and ride – all day if you want. There will be A, B and C trails – easy to hard. There will be steep hills, easy hills.”
It will be a place for those who wish to be outdoors all day long and maybe spend a number of days at the site.
“There will be concessions on-site, but you can bring in a cooler, too,” Kellett said. “At the end of the day, if you want to camp, we’ll start with 20 permanent sites, and we’ll build up from there. We want people to come and camp, whether that’s by the day, by the month of the year. All those will be available.”
The property currently zoned AG-1 covers 160 acres. The park is situated two miles west of Matherville and is bordered by properties owned by a few people in the area. This includes the property of rural Mercer County resident Maureen Conway, who leads the citizens’ group.
The most important step for construction is the vote carried by the Mercer County Zoning Committee on whether or not to rezone the property.
Kellett stated that he isn’t blind to the concerns expressed by the citizens’ group, for example, the concerns about nearby roads, in terms of dust flying and wear and wear and tear.
“They say, ‘What about the roads? Who will monitor them?’” he said. “We wanted to pave the road. We offered to give them $20,000 this year to tar and chip the road, and then similar gifts the next four years, totaling $100,000. Eventually, we want to tar and chip it all the way to Matherville. … They did not accept it. They thought it would open up a can of worms. Our stance is, we really want to do business in your township. Tar and chipping would prevent all the blowing dust. But you said ‘No.’”
Essentially, said Conway, “(Officials) rejected the check because they felt it wasn’t good business.” She also called the amount “a drop in the bucket” for what would ultimately be required for roadwork.
Kellett also acknowledged that “noise could be a factor with the motorcycles but, in my opinion, not by the side-by-sides, which are much quieter.”