After months of starts and stops, plans to open a go-kart track in east Cleburne appear to be back on track. Cleburne City Council members, during their Tuesday meeting, conditionally approved a special use permit to allow the land to be used as a go-kart track and entertainment facility.
The measure passed 3-1 with Councilwoman Gayle White voting in opposition. Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain was out of town and unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting.
The condition of approval requires property owner Lynn Limon to install either a septic system or pay for sewer lines to the property in not more than a year’s time. The property, annexed by Cleburne years ago, is not presently served by sewer service.
Council approval appeared to be in jeopardy initially given the question of porta potties, which Limon will be allowed to use until a septic system or sewer service is installed.
Councilman John Warren questioned Limon’s plans to install only one porta pottie, to be used by both men and women, on the grounds.
Warren expressed dismay that a picture Limon displayed, showing two porta potties in a fenced enclosure, came from the Internet and does not represent the actual bathroom facilities she intends to install on the property.
“I support this project and we need things like this in east Cleburne,” Warren said after the meeting. “On the other hand, we’ve got to do things right for the public. All I’m asking, and I don’t think it’s an extreme request, is that she have at least two porta potties out there, one for men and one for women, separated and labeled and with a wall between them.”
Limon countered that she’s never encountered gender-labeled porta potties even at Cleburne city events and further argued that Go-Kart Mania Dirt Track and Party Place’s bathroom facilities are cleaner than those in Hulen Park.
Warren voted in favor of the project, but said he intends to monitor the facility’s bathroom situation and bring the question back to council should Limon open with only one bathroom.
Not there yet
Tuesday’s council vote, Cleburne City Manager Rick Holden said, simply rezoned Limon’s property to allow it to be used for an entertainment facility. Limon still needs to go through the city to obtain a certificate of occupancy before she can open. That process, Holden said, will address such issues as bathroom facilities, parking and other matters. With council approval now in hand, Limon can initiate the process of obtaining her certificate of occupancy at any time, Holden said.
White voiced concern over several safety issues. Those issues, Limon said, have been addressed and added that Go-Kart Mania will not be open after dark and added that children will not be allowed on site without parental or adult supervision.
White on Wednesday said she absolutely supports the idea of the track and that more business is needed in east Cleburne.
“My concerns remain that there are safety issues,” White said. “People, including children and older people, are going to have to cross that go-kart track to get to the picnic and other areas. I also have questions about handicap accessibility to the area and the bathrooms. They definitely need more than one bathroom, and a washing area.
“I want them to succeed by all means, but I also have to look at those sanitary, access and safety factors.”
The facility sports a dirt go-kart track and other activities such as a zip line, volleyball courts, an archery area and picnic areas. Go-Kart Mania, Limon said, will bring much needed economic activity to the city’s east side. The plan for now is to not be open to the general public, but to rent the facility out to church, school, family and other groups.
Council members approved purchase of wearable body cameras for Cleburne police officers at a cost of $48,644.22. A Criminal Justice Division grant awarded to the city will fund the cost.
Council members also approved allocation of $38,097 to purchase city entrance signs at several of the city’s main entrances. The money derives from a surplus of fund balance in the city’s Tax Incentive Financing District No. 2 funds, some of those funds having been used to pay for earlier improvements to Market Square in downtown.
Council members also reappointed Terri Wilson to a second term on the Civil Service Commission.