Jayhawk Racing steps into Heartland Park petition appeal

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Hours before the City of Topeka had to meet a deadline on an appeal of the Heartland Park purchase petition, Jayhawk Racing filed a motion supporting the invalidation of those petitions.

The Kansas Court of Appeals set a 5:00 p.m. Monday deadline for the city to file its response to an appeal of a lower court ruling the petitions are invalid.

The petitions, circulated this summer and fall, asked that the City of Topeka’s purchase of the financially trouble racetrack and its plans to issue more than $5 million in STAR bonds be put to a public vote.

In October a Shawnee County District Court judge ruled that for a number of technical reasons those petitions, signed by more than 4,000 city residents, were invalid.

The group behind the petitions then appealed the ruling, setting up Monday’s deadline.

Jayhawk Racing Properties filed as an intervenor in the appeal because it uses the racetrack for races and other events.

The documents filed Monday request that if the Kansas Court of Appeals delays an immediate decision on the appeal it must also required those behind the petition, Chiefly Chris Imming, filed an approximately $5.9 million dollar bond.

The filing says that amount would cover the cost of the actual purchase price of the racetrack, valued at about $2.4 million, and another $2.9 million in existing debt. The company made the claim on the grounds that delaying the City of Topeka’s anticipated purchase of the park will cause the company “…not only substantial, but irreparable, injury. Jjayhawk will lost its business.”

Petitioner Chris Imming, contacted by Kansas First News, said he had not see the Jayhawk filing, and referred future questions to his attorney.


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