Bike Track In Hancock County Causing Stir With Nearby Residents

The owner of the Fire Tower Motor cross practice track says he built the facility to give dirt bike and all-terrain vehicle owners a safe environment to ride.

"People come out here to get outside, and moms and dads grandmoms and grandpaws come watch their kids and grandkids have a good time on a motorcycle," owner Mark Chrisman said.

Chrisman owns more than 80 acres.

"We cleared the land to build the track," Chrisman said. "We had the noise factor in mind, and when we cleared it, we left some trees as a buffer in between us and the nearest houses."

Even with that, some residents in the area say the noise from the dirt bikes is unbearable.

"We moved out here thinking it was going to be peaceful and quiet, and now this comes up," Dianne Necaise said.

"Based on the AMA manual, dirt bikes produce about the same sound as a lawn mower, 92 decibels," Chrisman said.

Not everyone is bothered by the noise, not even the track's closest neighbor.

"If you live by a railroad track, you eventually get used to the noise," Tony Childress said. "The noise really ain't all that bad. When we're in the house, we can't even hear it."

"I don't see these motor bikes being any louder than any farm animal that you have," Shane Anderson said.

Anderson says having a track in the neighborhood makes the roads travel in the area safer for motorists and four wheelers by giving them a supervised place to ride.

Both sides will get a chance to voice their opinions at an upcoming public hearing. That public hearing will be held Wednesday, May 22nd, at 1 p.m., at the County Courthouse in Bay St. Louis.