By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Earlier this year, there were three drag strips in the State of New Jersey. In January, there was a shocking announcement that Old Bridge Township Raceway Park was closing its doors to all drag racing events, including the historic NHRA Summernationals.
That left only Island Dragway in North Jersey and Atco Dragway in South Jersey. Now, if things do not get better for Island Dragway, they may be forced into closing their doors.
For those wondering, Island Dragway is approximately an hour and 23 minutes away from Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. From the former home of the NHRA Summernationals to Atco Dragway, it’s an hour and 12 minutes.
According to Lehigh Valley Live, the North Jersey track may be forced to close its doors. The story says the track may be forced to close due to an insane spike in their electric bills.
Melissa Milano, who is the owner of the track, said that the Warren County, New Jersey track previously had electric bills around $400 to $700 per month. However, she says the June bill from JCP&L was $5,269.54.
“I said, ‘No way this is right,’” Milano said to the paper.
After calling the electric company up, according to the paper, she was told that she owes $16,624.74 and it must be paid by August 1st. And that’s just for the drag strip lights.
During her conversations with the JCP&L representatives that she learned the track is now considered a ‘high-voltage account.’ Her bills will be $11,000 for the base capacity charge during the summer peak-usage period.
“We can’t operate like that,” she said, according to the paper. “It’ll totally shut us down. We wouldn’t be able to afford it. We just flat-out wouldn’t have it. They’re saying if this doesn’t get changed, it’s $11,000 each month is the starting point.”
Milano, according to the paper, said that she has received a case manager at the electric company to help her. However, she’s also been in touch with the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities after the excessive hike.
“We are aware of the customer’s concern and we are reviewing the billing history, recent bill, and rate and will be in contact with the customer regarding the situation,” JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano said according to NJ Advance Media.
According to Milano, in the story, she claims that the bills have never been this high. The Island Dragway website says it has been an NHRA member track since 1960.
The next upcoming event is the Friday Night Test & Tune + Gamblers race. The event will operate from 7 pm to 11 pm after the gates open at 6 pm.
The facility will be running events all weekend long. They also have the Summit ET Raceday 84 plus Jrs and Impalas with gates opening at noon, before racing going from 3 pm to 10 pm on Saturday.
The track will close out with a Test & Tune or a Raindate Xtreme Street Shootout with gates opening at 10 am on Sunday. Racing, according to the site, is going from 11 am to 5 pm.
“It’s pretty much at the point where I know it’s the capacity charge and the bill is going to start at $11,000 even if this doesn’t go away,” she said. “So at this point, I might as well open for another Friday night and just them shut the lights off because it’s ridiculous.”
The track, according to Milano, still has its biggest event of the season coming up. On August 5th, the 58th Anniversary Funny Car Throwdown begins at 9 am that day weather permitting.