ATV park at the Harley-Davidson test track not likely, one Collier commissioner said

— Collier County Commissioner Jim Coletta said this afternoon that putting a county ATV park at the Harley-Davidson test track would not be financially feasible.

As part of a deal to turn over roads to the state for an environmental restoration project, the South Florida Water Management District promised to find a new place for off-roaders to ride. The district has yet to live up to the pledge, and the county has filed a lawsuit.

Harley-Davidson announced this week that it would be consolidating its three test track locations, including the eastern Collier County location, by the end of 2011.

"It's probably a pretty expensive place," said Coletta, who has been a leader in the push to find an ATV site.

Harley-Davidson bought the 531-acre test track, formerly a Ford Motor Co. testing facility, for $6.5 million in 2002, according to county land records. The company did not say what other plans it might have for the track.

Instead, Coletta said he wants to put together a coalition of local leaders to market the test track for other uses, possibly for use as a shared test track.

"Something has to be done on a local level to see if anything can be done to move it forward," Coletta said this afternoon.

The test track sits north of Interstate 75 and south of the site where Collier Enterprises wants to build the new town of Big Cypress, which is still on the drawing boards.

The track is at the same location where Collier County has proposed building a new I-75 interchange, which has run up against concerns from environmental agencies about its impact on endangered Florida panther habitat.

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