On May 19, 2020, Senator Daphne Jordan continued her advocacy on behalf of Lebanon Valley Speedway re-opening so local racers could test and tune their engines. The text of Senator Jordan's letter to the Governor is below.
May 19, 2020
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
I write once again advocating on behalf of Howard Commander, owner, and promoter of Lebanon Valley Speedway in Columbia County, asking for immediate consideration from the state for his business to re-open for local racers to test and tune their vehicles during a three-day event beginning this Friday, May 22. There would be no spectators allowed at the event.
Mr. Commander asked for my urgent assistance in helping re-open Lebanon Valley Speedway under Phase One so local racers may test and tune their cars at the raceway for this proposed three-day event with no spectators at their outdoor track. I urge you to consider the following salient points shared with me by Mr. Commander this afternoon in providing this requested urgent consideration for Lebanon Valley Speedway to hold the event:
- Lebanon Valley Speedway is a large outdoor track;
- Watkins Glen and horse tracks were already given state permission to re-open;
- Each car participating in the proposed event at Lebanon Valley Speedway would have its own time slot, with some cars utilizing the speedway and others using the dragway; and
- There will be no spectators allowed at the event.
As I wrote back on April 21, Lebanon Valley Speedway has taken all practical precautions necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic, including following all state guidelines and regulations. Mr. Commander has already lost $200,000 thus far due to his venue being closed and the cancellation of events under NY on PAUSE. He has taken in $40,000 from local racers for the upcoming event and it would be highly deleterious to his business if he were not given the green flag to start. Mr. Commander candidly shared with me that his business is hurting badly due to the shutdown and that he truly needs to host this proposed event.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of my time-sensitive request made on behalf of my constituent Howard Commander and Lebanon Valley Speedway
State Senator, 43rd District
Cc: Mike Yevoli, Regional Director, Empire State Development