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Symphony Declines Barbecue on the River Contract

Stephen Lance Dennee

The Paducah Symphony declined the contract to operate the Paducah Barbecue on the River Beer Garden this fall after managing it for 19 years.

Roger Truitt, PSO president, felt the Symphony did not have enough options.

“We were told absolutely it’s not negotiable,” he said. “We were offered take it or leave it. And so, we’re not going to take it.”

The PSO says the nonnegotiable contract made it too difficult to deal with increasing costs, weather related issues, and the 500 plus volunteer hours required for the event.

The agreement to manage the beer garden includes a $1000 nonrefundable deposit, a $4000 rental fee, liquor license fees, and an insurance policy for $5 million.

“We certainly wanted to keep this relationship, and our fundraiser healthy; we were even willing to share more of the bottom line to retain what we had, but the offer came with a non-negotiable stamp on it,”

The move comes amid reports that Barbecue officials had failed to file the appropriate IRS form 990 to maintain its 501(c)4 status and lost that status shortly after receiving it. In addition the city required a 501(c)3 status in a contract with Barbecue Inc. that outlined a city earmark of $20,000 to Barbecue Inc. to open a storefront downtown.

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