Union County leaders have no jurisdiction over races

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ELK POINT, S.D. (KCAU) – Debate over a pair of South Dakota auto races planned later this week near Jefferson continues but there is no indication the events will be canceled.

Union County still reports a low number of coronavirus cases, but some attending Tuesday’s Union County Commissioners meeting call the events ill-advised.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem advised that the county does not have the power to stop the events from happenbing.

“We did, during the legislative session, attempt try to give counties some of the authorities that cities have, but the legislature did not support that measure. So the county’s probably accurate in saying they wish they had more tools to deal with the situations, but from the state level, and what I’m recommending is that people do not go,” Noem said.

KCAU 9 reached out the members of the Union County Comissioners Office who also have raised questions about the events at Park Jefferson Speedway and New Raceway Park.

After speaking with the South Daktoa State Attorney, the commissioners said they cannot prevent the races from happening, but they remind those attending to take precautions.

“Make sure that everyone that takes part in this and make sure they’re reponsible. And that’s what the State of South Dakota is asking, even the governor, is. People need to be responsible for their actions, so choose very wisely and make sure you make the right choice, but it’s your choice, ” Union County Commissioner Richard Headid said.

Union County residents are also looking for their community to follow recomendations, but say that too many people think that those guidelines don’t apply to them or that coronavirus isn’t an issue in the area.

“The problem with that mentality is your footprint at an event like this is thats it isn’t just desgnated to the track itself. You’re going to have people that stop and get gas and touch pumps or go to the bathroom and touch a handle or a railing and stuff, and inadvertently you could easily expose someone,” Union County resident Jeremy Harkness said.

The owner of New Raceway Park said Sunday that they plan on taking temperatures at the entrance and have several hand sanitizer stations available.

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