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Paducah City Commission OKs 2-Year Contract with BBQ Fest, New Incentive Policy

Barbecue on the River/Facebook

The Paducah City Commission has approved a two-year contract with Barbecue on the River, Inc. - the first formal agreement between the city and organizers of the event, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year.

City manager Jeff Pederson says the contract outlines more than $100,000 in support for the festival and will establish an ex officio position for a city official on the Barbecue on the River Board of Directors.

“We just thought it was a good idea to formalize our relationship with Barbecue, so we’ve got a clear idea of what the relationship consists of,” Pederson said.

The 21st Barbecue on the River will take place September 24-26. Organizers are now accepting beer garden applications through April 17.

The commission also approved Tuesday night a municipal order that establishes new guidelines for providing economic incentives to businesses looking to locate in Paducah and McCracken County. Pederson says the agreed-upon incentives will kick in for businesses offering a minimum of 10 jobs to be created, but will be tiered to focus on maximizing the impact on household wages.

“So the incentive package, the incentive program is structured so that higher paying jobs can effectively get greater incentives,” Pederson said.

Paducah Economic Development president Scott Darnell says the new incentives policy has five key provisions:

  1. Stimulates investment rather than compensating investment
  2. Is performance-based
  3. Establishes a baseline to start an honest two-way discussion and negotiation with both sides feeling good about the deal
  4. It’s flexible
  5. It provides a framework to protect the public sector’s investment.
John Null is the host and creator of Left of the Dial. From 2013-2016, he also served as a reporter in the WKMS newsroom.
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