By David Fleet
On Saturday, an ORV park test event was conducted to determine if noise was going to be a problem once the site was up and running in 2020. So to check out the decibel debate the Department of Natural Resources rented the park to the motorcycle group the Bent Wheel Club.
The ORV park incorporates 235 acres on property once mined for gravel. The MDNR reported in December 2014 a grant for $2.9 million was approved from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to purchase the property, however, only a portion of the grant was used so far. Currently, about 145 acres of the 235 will be included in the first phase of the ORV park. Some of the remaining acreage is still mined by area companies.
Until the park opens in the summer, tests to determine how the ORVs usage will impact the facility and the community are ongoing.
Bob DePalma, township supervisor attended the gathering with a decibel meter which measures the level of sound.
“If you were in the center of the (gravel) pit where they were hill climbing the noise level was between 60-70 decibels,” said DePalma. “I was surprised when you left the area where they were scrambling, by the time you got to Dixie Highway away from the area they were riding you could not hear anything. The event went very well.”
This summer the Oakland County Parks will have an event that mixes Jeeps, off road side by sides and motorcycles courses all three units at the same times.
Established in 1968, the Bent Wheel is a motorcycle club with riding property near Rose City, Mich. The group includes about 40 active members with many living in the Oakland County area.
Fenton resident Paul Zalac, club chairman said the Bent Wheel group is excited to have the new Groveland ORV State Park in their future.
“The course has great potential,” said Zalac. “The property was set up for off road Jeep runs. However, over the past month a lot of dirt was moved to build the courses for dirt motorcycles.”
On the site was a 2.2 mile Grand Prix-Hare scramble, a small youth course, sand track along with a hard clay track. The ages were from about 7 to 80 years old with bikes ranging from 50 cc to 500 cc.
“The use of elevation at the site was excellent,” he said. “It went very well and the new facility has a lot of potential.”