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Austin City Council chambers packed with supporters at last Thursday's meeting

The "ayes" have it and the motion is carried.
Austin Approves F1 Project!

The Austin City Council just voted seconds ago to approve the resolutions related to the Agreement between the City of Austin, The Texas Comptroller and the COTA Local Organizing Committee.

Mayor Leffingwell was joined by Council Members Martinez, Riley, Cole and Spelman in approving the measures. Council Members Tovo and Morrison voted in opposition.

As a recap, the measures:

  1. Authorized the City Manager to negotiate and execute an Interlocal Agreement with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to: 1) Establish a METF for the F1 US Grand Prix and 2) Set forth the rights and obligations of the parties as required under the METF statute.
  2. Authorized the COTA Local Organizing Committee ("CELOC") to act on the city's behalf 1) Establish the parties' authority, rights, and responsibilities with respect to an application to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts for creation of a METF in support of the F1 US Grand Prix and 2) establish the parties' authority, rights, and responsibilities with respect to payments to and from the Fund.
  3. (Hotel fee waiver ordinance)
  4. Discussion and possible action on a term sheet describing environmental standards and expectations regarding the Circuit of the Americas and related parties.

We also enjoyed reading Council Member Bill Spelman's email that he sent in response to all those that emailed him about the F1 vote. He highlights three concerns:

  1. There must be no financial risk for the City of Austin or its taxpayers.
  2. The City of Austin must be able to terminate all contracts due to non-performance.
  3. Circuit of the Americas must meet the sustainability expectations.

You can take a closer look at Mr. Spelman's email by clicking here.

Regarding the sustainibility expectations, The Austin American-Statesman exclusively shared a press release from Council Member Chris Riley's office late yesterday afternoon. Mr. Riley, Council Member Mike Martinez and Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell all sponsor and support an unprecedented initiative to make Circuit of the Americas a landmark "Green" Formula One facility. This tentative agreement addresses numerous environmental and sustainibility issues. Here are a few points that COTA has tentatively agreed to implement at the one-of-a-kind Circuit of the Americas:

  • Provide satellite parking and dedicated lanes for mass transit options
  • Build structures to Austin Energy Green Building standards
  • Invest in on-site renewable energy
  • Embrace aggressive recycling and composting practices
  • Invest in local carbon offsets, such as tree plantings and land conservation
  • Buy into Austin Energy’s Green Choice program
  • Dedicate land for a community garden
  • Partner with other organizations, such as Austin Technology Incubator, to support on-site green technology and research and development projects
  • Coordinate with local educational institutions such as UT, Texas State , Huston-Tillotson, and Texas A&M to do green racing and transportation research
  • Host alternative energy and energy efficient car races, in addition to cycling and foot races

Thanks EVERYONE for your help, tweets, comments, posts; YOU truly helped MAKE IT HAPPEN!

Austin, MAKE IT HAPPEN! from The Austin Grand Prix on Vimeo.


More THANK YOUs to everyone who has ever watched and participated in the past five (yes 5) Austin City Council meetings regarding F1 since November of last year.

Your first beer at the inaugural F1 race at Circuit of the Americas
in 2012 is ON US!

Cheers :)