For nearly two decades, go-karters and other motor sports buffs have use the tarmac at Marina Municipal Airport to host races and other events.

But federal aviation officials last summer notified city officials that it considered the low-slung, ground-hugging action incompatible with airport aviation uses.

The City Council will hold a special meeting Friday with an eye toward working out a way that two groups — Marina Motorsports and Monterey Bay Karters — can continue to do their thing at the airport under city permits.

Mayor Bruce Delgado on Thursday said if a few details can be worked out, it appears the two groups will be able to keep calling the Marina airport home.

The final sticking points being cited by aviation officials are fencing put up for go-kart races and how often it must be taken down, Delgado said.

Delgado said the council is taking the issue up at a special meeting because the two groups are putting together event schedules for the new year. One January event has already been canceled because of the uncertainty, he said.

Friday's agenda calls for the council to consider renewal of use permits for both groups to use the north and south tarmacs.

Delgado said he hopes they will stay. "Without the go-karters, the airport would have been like a ghost town for the past 17 years," he said.

Alan Freese, president of Monterey Bay Karters, said, "We feel as though we are going to have a practical, viable solution.


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"We have been out there 17 years incident-free," Freese said. "We're trying to make everyone happy."

The all-volunteer group typically has about 40 participants at events put on about one weekend a month at the airport. A few regional events attract up to 85 participants.

He said when the issue was aired earlier at a council meeting, "there was 100 percent support from the community."

Freese said his group is the only go-kart club in the tri-county area, and the nearest go-kart events other than at Marina are in Santa Maria and Atwater.

The city has long looked at the airport and property around the airport as a potential economic generator.

Larry Parsons can be reached at 646-4379 or lparsons@montereyherald.com.


If you go
·What: Marina City Council
·When: 5:30 p.m. Friday
·Where: Council chambers, 211 Hillcrest Ave., Marina