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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

“Our goal is to blow by the Manchester Velodrome and make this the best indoor velodrome in the world.” Coatesville Velodrome Part B

Dave Chauner, “I appeared before this board about five years ago with the very same project. The players were a little bit different, different financing. I have a lot stronger than we had back then. But I’ve been at this a long time a tremendous opportunity for Coatesville, for cycling and for Chester County.
Before we get into a Power Point slide presentation which will only take about ten minutes or so; we want to run through this video. This was taken at the Manchester Velodrome in England. As Crosby said this has got a very good, one of the best programs in the world or the best program in the world for indoor velodrome racing. You’ll get a sense of what it brings to the community.
And our goal is to blow by the Manchester Velodrome and make this the best indoor velodrome in the world."

 Dave Chauner, “That’s just a brief look at the Manchester Velodrome, which has become the most utilized velodrome in the world. It’s actually put Great Britain on the top of Olympic cycling, since it was built about twenty years ago. Now Great Britain is one of the top cycling nations and won more gold medals in Beijing than any other cycling nations.
What I’d like to do now is go through a quick presentation about the Coatesville Velodrome Event Center. We believe this is a bold and visionary attraction that’s going to provide Coatesville with a world class community asset.
The Velodrome will transform the ‘Flats’. Everybody knows the ‘Flats’ have been looked at for a long time. A lot of projects come and go. We feel that the ‘Flats’ is a great location both from a traffic in and out, the flow but also being in the center of Coatesville, easily accessible, visible to the train tracks. It’s going to be a tremendous transformation of the ‘Flats’ and will fit very, very well with the Riverwalk and some of the other recreation activities that the City is interested in developing.
It’s going to put Coatesville on the map. As I said earlier this is going to be not just…a local center, regional center, national center it will also be an international center. There will be a tremendous amount of recognition throughout the world for this facility.
We are going to engage the local youth. As you saw on the video a lot of the programs that are held on a track are for…kids, to get youth involved in cycling.  The Velodrome will own it own bicycles. We will create a program that will…expose a lot of kids to cycling. Teach safe cycling and in general be a great boon for the local youth.
It’s going to fulfill a need for Chester County. There is no small multi-purpose arena in Chester County. This is a twenty two hundred seat arena that will play a lot of things besides cycling; concerts, basketball. You saw how they used the infield in the video. A lot of different activities can be held here and Chester County needs this.
It will attract new businesses. When the Velodrome is built it will serve as a magnet to bring a lot of other businesses related to cycling, related to health and fitness to the area. I know from the Lehigh County Velodrome that I was a director of years ago; many businesses have come in to be near the track. Bicycle businesses, bike shops, timing companies, physical therapy, and performance center activity. It’s a real magnet for that.
And also important to the citizenry of Coatesville it will sustain itself. This is a public/private partnership but it’s not required be sustained by the City it will cover itself for its own operations.
The key facilities, world class indoor velodrome, this is a two hundred meter Siberian pine two by two board slats that will comprise the surface of the velodrome. It’s a steeply banked facility forty three or forty four degrees in turns. It looks very intimating at first, but it’s actually quite easy to ride once you get used to it and take the classes and so on.
It’s patterned after the World Training Centre in Switzerland which is also a two hundred meter track that’s run by the International Cycling Union. It’s a multipurpose event center as you saw in the video and as we said a lot of different activities can be held in about a twenty five thousand square foot infield. That means you can do everything from badminton tournaments, cheerleading contests, basketball games.
This is the kind of arena that will play for sports and events that are too small to play in a place like the Wachovia Center. But yet attract two to three thousand people for an event. So you get a lot of regional and national championships and non main stream sports and also concerts and also lesser, like we are not going to have Bon Jovi here. We’ll have some other good entertainment that’s part of a concert series.
It’s also centrally located for bike paths and routes. I’m sure all of you know, you are witness to the roads around here and what’s happening with cycling. This sport is growing like crazy. We have a number of bike clubs in the area. The Riverwalk is a great beginning. We think that there is an opportunity to build bike paths further up north along Route 82. There are also some other tracts that the City owns that also then feeds out into Hibernia and all the back roads in Chester County. So it’s a great central location for that.
It’s going to be designated as a national training center. The CEO of USA Cycling is going to be coming here as soon as we have the site locked down. We’ll participate in a press conference where we’ll be named the National Cycling Training and Development Center."
Question from City Council Vice President Karl Marking, “How does world class differ if at all from Olympics?”
Mr. Chauner, “In cycling, world class encompasses a lot of things. It encompasses Olympic style events, Olympic events it encompasses professional races. And world class in this case is not only the facility itself but the program. The program that we intend to have here is definitely going to be world class in that it will go from grass roots development all the way up to top level international competition.
The ongoing cycling programs, they have weekly competitions. We have three levels of competition. We call them A, B and C.  A is novice first time competitors with an opportunity once a week for them to compete. B competition will be more regional and local competition. We are talking about creating some local teams for the different towns around here; Coatesville Cutters will go against the West Chester Rockets and the Phoenixville Flyers and so on and so forth.
And then the major competitions which we’ll hold once every six weeks or so will be major national or international meets that will bring people in from all around the country and around the world.
Year round training facility, this is what the sport really needs in the United States. There is no indoor training facility on the east coast. There is only one other indoor velodrome in the United States right now in Los Angeles. Because of our winters obviously it’s very difficult for cyclists to train year around; which is necessary if you’re going to compete at the highest levels. So this offers a year around training facility and will be actually very active during the winter.
Our youth development programs; I was the first program director at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome. We started the Air Products Developmental Program, sponsored by Air Products a local company. It was to introduce kids to cycling. That was back in 1977. It was the first program we ran and in the thirty years of so that it’s been going we put about fifteen thousand people through that; produced sixteen Olympic cyclists including Marty Nothstein who is world sprint champion in the Sidney Games.
Project 16 is a program we will implement to develop and find talent for the 2016 Olympics.
Velodrome team again will be a local team of riders that we will develop. We’ll initially have some accomplished cyclists already who will represent the Velodrome in competition regionally and nationally so that we’ll get the word out and do a lot of promoting of the National Velodrome here in Coatesville, throughout the country.
We have a foreign exchange program planned. There is a number of indoor Velodromes around the world that are getting together to do exchanges. We’ve talked to groups from Sweden, Holland, Belgium, South America and France. These are all countries that have similar indoor velodromes and we’re looking to create an exchange program. We’ll have racers from the US go to those velodromes and some of those riders come over to our velodrome.
Why cycling is right for Coatesville. The sport is exploding right now. Bicycling Magazine just did a survey of the sport in the last decade, it has quadrupled in size. There are sixty three million Americans that list cycling as their favorite recreational activity. That’s more than golf, tennis and skiing combined. It’s really growing dramatically.
The base is here, so there’s a lot of cycling activity in the Philadelphia area. We started the Philadelphia Championship back in 1985. It’s in its twenty seventh year. There is the Univest Grand Prix that happens in September. It’s one of the biggest international races in the country. And then the Lehigh County Velodrome which is now the Valley Preferred Cycling Center is very active facility in the summertime. Their director Marty Nothstein was the Olympic Gold Medalist and he and I have been talking quite a bit about this. He definitely will be cooperating with them coordinating talent to come back and forth between the two velodromes. And they certainly need a year around program to because they can only operate from May to September.
Coatesville needs it; I think we talked about this it certainly is a great, great magnet. This is going to be something that will shed a new light on Coatesville. It’s going to provide a much needed stimulus to the economy and it’s also something that I think will generate a lot of civic pride and support for a unique facility. You know, West Chester’s talking about getting a minor league baseball stadium and then Chester is the new Soccer Stadium. Those aren’t going to come here to Coatesville but the Velodrome is and this is going to be a world class facility just like those things.
The time is now indoor cycling, indoor cycling and velodrome racing is growing dramatically around the world, partly because the world governing body switched the time of the world championships from September which is typically the end of the summer season, to March which is the end of the winter season or indoor season so many countries are building indoor velodromes now. So this is the perfect time for an indoor velodrome there is a lot of activity around the world and it’s a great time to capture that.
To give you a summary of the key benefits; positive economic impact, were estimating about fifty thousand visitors a year which according to the economic surveys we’ve done would pump somewhere between twenty and thirty million dollars into the local economy. It’s going to really stimulate I think the growth of other businesses as well.
We are looking at fifty to one hundred full and part time jobs that will be directly related to the Velodrome operation of all the different events that will happen there. So it’s going to create a lot of jobs during the construction period. Construction companies so on and so forth. And then also with new businesses that come into the area. There’ll be a lot of new jobs created that way as well.
Mr. Karl Marking, “Are the construction resources such that they specialize in this kind of work?” 
Mr. Chauner, “It’s local IMC Construction, a Malvern based company and they’ll be doing the construction. They’ll be using a lot of local vendors.
Worldwide recognition as I mentioned; we fully intend to make this the most complete and the best Velodrome in the world. I’m not saying that with any humility, I really think we can do it. That’s a lot of things that we can bring to the table from my experience and the experience of others. We’re going to put this definitely on the map.
Enhancement to the community; not only is it going to convert the ‘Flats’ into something that’s pleasing and exciting but also as we mentioned with the developmental programs, the opportunities for other activities and events. It can be a real rallying point for the community and will definitely enhance the image and the reputation of Coatesville.
And a new prestige goes right along with that. I think Coatesville needs a shot in the arm for its prestige and for offering something that is unique and visionary and I really think this is it.
Why the facility will succeed.
Its multi-use, it’s not just cycling even though we’re looking at a full schedule year around and four different seasons. We are looking at about one hundred and five race nights between A, B and C races but that leaves quite a few more evenings and weekends that are available for special events like we went to before. I think that’s key this, is that, it’s not just dependent upon cycling. It’s a multi-purpose facility with cycling as its anchor activity. 
We did a lot of research; marketing research for Chester County we retained a group out of Delaware called Market Edge that did a very comprehensive market research study back in 2008 and determined that our core audience alone, these are people that already know about cycling or are already some way engaged in it. They represent some nine hundred thousand enthusiasts within a fifty mile radius of Coatesville. That’s not even considering new fans and new people that are going to be excited about the Velodrome when it’s here. Clearly we wanted to make sure the numbers that we thought we could attract were valid and I think they’re going to be beyond our expectations.
It’s a solid partnership. We started working with the Chester County Economic Development Council a few years ago and they really steered us and guided us in a lot of positive directions. They are a great crew to work with because they understand the County they understand the politics; they understand where low cost dollars may be obtained, whether they be loans or grants or whatever. We want to work very closely with the City of Coatesville.  It’s not just about our Velodrome it’s about a Coatesville Velodrome and a project that’s good for the community.
I’m sure that we will be working with a task force of Coatesville residents or people that are interested in working with us to give us suggestions and help us really make this a seamless integration with the community. So we’re looking at a really positive public/private partnership.
Our team we believe are experts in every step of the way. Velodrome Management Group is the company that I started about five years ago with the sole purpose of bringing a Velodrome to the area. You’ve heard about my background. One of the things that I am most proud of is the time that I spent at the Lehigh County Velodrome where I was able to get involved with development of the Air Products program. People still come up to me and say, ‘I was in that thirty years ago and it was really great. It really changed my life and gave me an opportunity to learn cycling.’…I think that level of engagement and our ability to market cycling not just put up a facility. But to put up a facility and draw people to it, make it exciting and entertaining. That’s really what we stand for.
Nothing works of course without solid financial partners, Crosby and his investment credit firm Crosby Wood Investments, Coatesville based. Crosby is the one who said we gotta do it in Coatesville. I’ve been here now for several years, this place is going to be turned around it’s going to be great and he’s putting his money where his mouth is and providing us with the basic equity to get the project off the ground. 
Chester County Economic Development Council as I mentioned has been with us from the beginning Gary and Bob who are here with us tonight have been very, very helpful every step of the way. They have stood very well and they realize that this is going to be a great facility for Chester County.
Our team includes R2 Architects out of Vorhees New Jersey. These guys have designed a lot of different facilities, sports facilities, offices and so on and they have a high level of enthusiasm and excitement for the project. We’ve been around and around with them on many different building designs and so on. They are terrific to work with. IMC Construction out of Malvern is our construction management group. They’re the ones that are costing out everything and they as I mentioned earlier will be sourcing local vendors to do the work. We have one of the foremost velodrome designers in the world a guy named Dale Hughes of Detroit who has built a number of world class velodromes around the world including the Olympic Velodrome for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, a great team.
So let’s get rolling."

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