Less than two weeks after completion of the 43rd annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the City Council approved a contract for a consultant to study whether the city should keep IndyCar or move to Formula 1 racing for the Grand Prix.
Representatives of Formula 1 first approached the city in 2015 to gauge interest in hosting a Formula 1 street race. Formula 1 was the headline race for the first few years of the Long Beach Grand Prix before costs convinced organizers to move to the America-based IndyCar series.
Council members decided in 2015 to ask both groups to present plans to continue the Grand Prix. Those proposals were returned in late 2016 by the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach and World Automobile Championship of California, LLC, proposing the Formula 1 affiliation.
Also in 2015, the city signed a three-year contract with GPALB, keeping IndyCar in the city through 2018.
Now the council wants an expert comparison of the two bids, and Tuesday signed a contract worth $150,000 with KPMG Corporate Finance, LLC for the work. KPMG consultants will focus on the technical aspects of the proposal, both in terms of the ability of either promoter to fulfill the contract and the potential financial advantages to the city.
The contract is for a year, but either side can terminate it with 30 days' notice.
In other business Tuesday, the council:
• Approved a three-year contract with Long Beach firefighters giving them a 3% raise each year for three years.
• Approved contracts with managers, prosecutors and confidential employees for four years, including a lump sum payment of 3% this year and 2% raises each year for the next three years.
• Considered a proposal to restore the senior meal program at Cesar E. Chavez and Silverado parks.
• Agreed to reduce the deposit from $500,000 to $50,000 for purchase of several former redevelopment properties along and near Atlantic Avenue in north Long Beach.
• Adopted specifications of a contract with Airwave Communications Enterprises for up to $979,468 to upgrade communication equipment is 70 police vehicles.
• Amended Marina Rules and Regulations in several places.