SPARTA, Ky. -- The Kentucky State Police says Kentucky Speedway owes it almost $300,000.
The outstanding bill is for security details at auto racing track from 2012 and 2013, according to Sgt. Michael Webb, public affairs commander with KSP.
“We are waiting on reimbursement of which we have not received,” said Webb who added that the total amount owed is just more than $299,000.
While the troopers who worked the details got paid, the taxpayers footed the bill for the security details because the state police weren’t paid.
The problem stems from the inaugural Quaker State 400 on July 9, 2011. The race was overshadowed by numerous logistical problems, including a massive traffic jam on Interstate 71 that resulted in as many as 20,000 people being unable to get to the race.
Many fans still en route by the halfway point of the race were asked to turn back in order to make it easier on those leaving the race.
In late 2011, the speedway purchased land near the speedway for parking and began to work with the state government to improve traffic around the speedway in time for the 2012 race. Part of the process entailed soliciting help from KSP and the Commonwealth to fix the problem ahead of future races.
That included a larger role for troopers at future events.
Stat police say filed an invoice for services at the end of the 2012 season.
“Then we subsequently began invoicing them for 2013 and engaged in more frequent communications with the Kentucky Speedway but up to this point they have failed to produce any payment,” Webb said.
Webb said the total delinquent sum is the equivalent of 14 new (and badly needed) cruisers.
“When we budget specifically for things in our operations through a year and we're $300,000 short it makes a significant difference in our overall bottom line,” Webb said.
Officials with the rack track aren’t commenting. Its parent company, Speedway Motorsports, didn’t return a phone call placed to it by WCPO.
There is nothing to suggest the speedway can’t afford to pay the bill. The chairman and CEO made a base salary of $600,000 from 2010-2012.
And the parent company declared its shareholders are getting a dividend of 15 cents per share.
The Gallatin County Fiscal Court told WCPO the Kentucky Speedway paid its bond on time.
Deputies from Boone and Gallatin counties are paid directly by the speedway. Although sheriff Neale told WCPO his deputies were contracted out the payment process took several months.
Officials from Gov. Steve Beshear’s office is looking into the problem.