By Marjorie Nesin
---- — City councilors will decide tonight whether to grant the Gran Prix of Gloucester a permit that would keep the bicycle race at Gloucester’s Stage Fort Park for its 15th year this fall.
Before the vote, councilors will hear from residents during a public hearing portion of the meeting that begins at 7 p.m. in City Hall’s Kyrouz Auditorium. The council’s subcommittee on planning and development last week voted unanimously to recommend the full council grant the permit.
The Planning and Development subcommittee’s chairman, Greg Verga, said conditions such as one that would require race planners to avoid certain areas and another that would require the race organizers to present a bond for repairs to the park have cleared up some concerns.
“We’re all on the same page now in terms of if it’s going to happen what the follow-up procedure’s going to be and who’s going to be responsible,” Verga said Monday.
The Gran Prix is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 28 and 29, if it is granted a permit. Boudreau estimates as 900 participants and 2,000 to 3,000 spectators will attend.
Paul Boudreau, race director for the Essex County Velo group that organizes the event, has said he generally agrees with the conditions and has spoken to his team about securing a bond. Boudreau plans to attend tonight’s meeting.
“I’ll just be there really to address any concerns or questions they, the council, have,” Boudreau said.
Boudreau, who has stated his preference to hold the race in Gloucester but began considering other locations when controversy sparked over damage left behind after last year’s race, said Monday that he looks forward to concluding the permitting process.
“I’m looking forward to getting everything wrapped up. It’s been a long process,” Boudreau said.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000 x3451, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go Who and what: City Council hosts public hearing on permit for Gran Prix of Gloucester to use Stage Fort Park. When: Tonight at 7. Where: City Hall's Kyrouz Auditorium, 9 Dale Ave.