HRM staff looking into possibility of RC track

Sackville RC members say they need a track in the community to accommodate growing interest. Julia Wong/Global News

LOWER SACKVILLE, N.S. – A remote controlled — or RC — car group is calling for a track to be built in the Sackville area.

Sackville RC says interest in the hobby is growing and enthusiasts need a track to host events and race with members of the RC community.

Right now, members race in homemade tracks built in one another’s backyards.

The trio are lobbying for a track to be built in the Sackville area. Right now, the only RC park in the province is in Kennetcook.

This is a view of one RC track built in a Sackville backyard. Julia Wong/Global News

Steve Taylor, co-founder of Sackville RC, says the group is looking for land that is about 150 sq. ft. and it is hoping for some help from HRM.

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“There’s a large crowd that do RC that have nowhere to go. This would give them somewhere to go and something to do,” he said.

“The problem is, right now, we don’t have enough space to encompass other members,” said Todd Connolly, co-founder of Sackville RC.

“Other people are trying to join our club and we can accommodate probably about 10 people at the small tracks. There is only so much standing room where you can visually see the track.”

Another member says he believes the municipality should treat the group like it does other sports groups.

“I see skate parks and bike parks. I see ball fields not being used,” said fellow co-founder Adrian Parsons.

“This hobby is growing in leaps and bounds and for the population of HRM not have to a place for people to run RC vehicles just doesn’t seem right to me.”

Taylor, Connolly and Parsons have been racing their RC cars together for several years now. Each got into the hobby for different reasons but liken RC racing to golf.

“It’s a very relaxing hobby for me,” Parsons said.

The non-profit wants HRM to donate unused land to them for a track, and the group will maintain it.

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“People are stepping up and volunteering everything from reptile shows to helping to raise money to mini excavators to help dig stuff up, people are offering up time and offering up money,” Parsons said.

The group has approached Lower Sackville Coun. Steve Craig about the project. Craig says he receives dozens of requests from the community group but says he was attracted to this particular one because of the organization’s excitement.

The councillor says city staff are looking into whether Eddie LeBlanc Field in Sackville could be transformed into a track.

“There are three baseball diamonds there. One is usable. One is used for as an off-leash park. The whole complex is just a wonderful complex that could be utilized so much more and have so many things going for it,” he said.

Craig says staff are also looking at several other options within HRM but declined to name them.

He adds that there is no timeline on the project.

“I am interested. I am looking to pursue it and have asked staff to do some things. Things are moving, maybe not as fast as the community would like however bureaucracy can move slowly I’m finding,” he said.

However, Sackville RC is just grateful for the support.

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“We need to have options for children. We need to have options for adults. We need to have options to help keep people out of trouble,” Parsons said.

“RC is just one of them. It’s not for everybody but it is for a lot of people.”

Sackville RC members says that they are working on a backup plan if HRM declines to assist them.

Connolly says the group will approach local businesses or private individuals to see if they would be willing to donate land for the project.

The trio say a RC track would not have permanent damage on the land, adding that they can dismantle a track within a couple days and there would not be a permanent footprint.

Taylor says while interest in RC racing may not be as great as in soccer or baseball, the group has received more than 50 emails from people interested in a community track.

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