Economy

No race yet, Zandvoort is already 1.3 million poorer

And so money has to be added. The North Holland municipality has not lost 4.1 million to ensure that the races in 2021, ’22 and ’23 run smoothly, but 4.8 million. The 17 percent increase is due to two miscalculations in the municipality.

First, the estimate of what it would cost the municipality in terms of civil servants and hiring external staff was too low. In addition, it was assumed in Zandvoort that only the organization of the first race would require a lot of effort, and that the two races after that would be ‘business as usual’.

‘Too big, too complex’

The board is now coming back from that. Because it is such a self-contained circus, organizing a race, and because so many factors can influence, significant costs will have to be incurred for each race. “It is too big, too complex,” writes the mayor and aldermen a letter to the council.

While no race has yet been run due to corona, the deployment of officials and hired workers has already cost 1.3 million. A realistic amount, according to a study commissioned by the municipality. For example, the municipality had to hire specialist knowledge in the field of organizing a Formula 1 race.

Only help, not organize

At comparable events such as the start of the tour in Utrecht, many civil servants were also needed, according to the research. The difference with Zandvoort is that the municipality of Utrecht actually organized the event itself. This is done in Zandvoort by the Dutch Grand Prix company.

A difference with Utrecht is that less effort was needed there for ‘environmental factors’. Several lawsuits have been brought about the race in Zandvoort, concerning the issue of permits for racing in the dunes.

And that was quite expensive, RTL Z discovered in March 2020. All lawsuits about permits for the race already cost 161,520 euros in 2019. to bills of the state attorney.

The consequence of all those extra costs, which according to the study can therefore be justified, is that the Commission wanted to increase the budget. At the end of April, this was approved by the city council of the coastal town. Elderly party OZP, the PVV and GroenLinks voted against. The stocking is not finished yet for the last game.

Maximum budget

“In 2019 we stuck our neck out by agreeing to the budget of 4.1 million, so we are extremely critical”, says Karim el Gebaly, council member of GroenLinks. That amount would not increase, was then explicitly promised. And, El Gebaly recalls, it would pay for itself.

He wants to know what agreements have been made about this and how they came about. Why does the municipality not charge more rent for the parking spaces that the DGP may use during the event, the councilor wonders. 100,000 euros is now charged for this, according to GroenLinks half of the actual value.

“That 100,000 euros was mentioned as an estimate from the beginning, there was really much more to be gained”, El Gebaly thinks. He also has questions about the costs of using extra trains, which the municipality pays for. “It has been maintained in letters to Parliament that these temporary measures are for the account of DGP”, he says.

Budget deficit

“Six to seven tons more expensive, that is amounts in our budget,” he justifies his criticism. “Why do we agree to that, if we can also get it somewhere else?” He points to the imminent deficit on the health care budget in the municipality. “We could have made up for that shortage considerably if we had asked twice for the parking spaces.”

However, the responsible councilor, Raymond van Haisjes (D66), does not want to do this. Breaking open the contracts with DGP is not an option, according to him, because the municipality would then show itself an unreliable partner, he said during the council meeting of April 20.

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