City of Birmingham owes $300K to Zoom Motor Sports - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

City of Birmingham owes $300K to Zoom Motor Sports

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BIRMINGHAM - AL -

In the past two years Indy weekend at Barber Motor Sports Park has brought in almost $82 million to the city of Birmingham.

But now the city has halted the process...sort of.

"Right now, at this point in time, there is no funding that's been allocated to help support the event on this weekend," Councilman Jay Roberson said. "Which is unfortunate."

The city budgets $300,000 to help with the $2 million in sanctioning fees for the race. Roughly $1.7 million has been paid in full by event sponsors. However, the city's $300K is still missing.

"At this point in time all the sanctioning fees have been paid," Councilwoman Kim Rafferty said. "The city just hasn't paid their fair share."

The money was on Tuesday's agenda to be approved. First as a four-year contract, then with an addendum for a one-year deal.

"I would have thought we had the support and the votes to move forward for at least a one-year contract to negotiate the additional three years after today's vote," Roberson said.

But, at the last minute, the item was pulled from the agenda by the mayor's office.

No reason.

No money.

"When you're trying to resolve an issue and trying to make something work and make decisions and you can't because the leadership is not giving any input...it's very trying," Rafferty said.

The mayor's office was not available for comment.

Rafferty says, eventually, the money will be given to Zoom Motor Sports, LLC, even if it is after this weekend's events.

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Birmingham City Council members say it's time to put the rubber to the road.

The city owes Zoom Motor Sports LLC a total of $300,000 for this Saturday's Barber Motor Sports weekend. The city, however, has yet to pay up.

Last week, Mayor William Bell wanted to enter into an agreement to pay Zoom Motor Sports LLC $300,000 every year for four years. Some councilors, however, thought that deal was a bit steep.

Tuesday, the same deal was in front of city council, but it was later pulled off the agenda at the request of the mayor's office. Some councilors, like Kim Rafferty and Jay Roberson, don't understand why the mayor is hesitant, as the money has already been allocated in this year's budget.

ABC 33/40 news at 5:00 will have the latest on this story.

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