Scotts Bluff County Commissioners Tuesday afternoon approved a resolution to extending support of continued video production locally by Pilgrim Media, the company behind the series Street Outlaws.
The resolution would extend authorization of county control and occasional closures of a small stretch of Highway 71 south of Gering from Sept. 20 through Oct. 24 for what the production company said would be another version of the series.
While the discussion started with comments on how the current production was moving along and the reception the cast and crew had been receiving, it was not without some comment against the extension.
AJ Moore, who lives nearby and farms a plot of land adjacent to the highway area used as a set expressed doubts about the economic impact, commenting he experienced problems with trespassers the very first night, and had production staff approach him in his field the following night, asking that he move back. “I advised they were on private property, but they refused to leave until we moved,” said Moore. “Also I live in Gering on the south side, and every night they film, my daughter, when we get up the next morning and getting ready for school eating breakfast, asks ‘Daddy, did they wake you up last night too?”
Pilgrim representative Ron Carr said the reason staff met him in the field the second night and wouldn’t leave was very likely for safety purposes in case there was a crash involving one of the cars. Paula Leung with Pilgrim told the Board production staff has been working hard to minimize potential disruptions. “We do our best to talk with anyone who has problems brought up to us,” said Leung. “We are aware of what our set is like, so we don’t want to leave a bad impression on you either, because you’ve let us film here.”
Commissioner Charlie Knapper agreed that the occasional noise level has been a bit more than he had anticipated, but also relayed a social media post he agreed with. “If we can live with freight trains in this valley, we can deal with two months with street racing that’s not even happening happen every night,” said Knapper. “One really legitimate concern I heard today is the fact that harvest season is going to ramp up here, and we’re going to be hauling more commodities on the highway.”
Officials said they are aware of the potential traffic issue and would be working to minimize the impact of trucks and ag equipment on one of the detours that runs through the city, but much of that traffic would be moving during the day when the highway isn’t closed.
Production of the additional series would be anticipated to be on approximately the same three to five night a week schedule as it has been since August.