Businesses scrutinize Decatur deal with beverage company - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Businesses scrutinize Decatur deal with beverage company

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Records show alcohol sales by Pavillion Beverages fall short of a goal set with the city. Records show alcohol sales by Pavillion Beverages fall short of a goal set with the city.
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

A Decatur city contract with a beverage business and a city-owned party rental location is up for renewal, but some are questioning the deal.

Only one company can serve alcohol out of Ingalls Harbor. According to the contract, once that company – Pavillion Beverage Services, LLC – makes $48,000 the city gets 20 percent off every sale past that point. That figure has not been reached.

Records of Pavillion's numbers indicate since July 2012 they have had four months with no alcohol sales. During the first year of the contract, Pavillion made around $20,000 off alcohol sales.

They are nine months into the second year of the contract and have made around the same amount of money, still well short of the $48,000 goal.

Several business owners are questioning whether the city should extend the contract. They want it opened to others, and said the project has failed but believe the city plans on moving forward with Pavillion.

Decatur City Council President Gary Hammon said businesses complained when the original deal was signed off in 2012. Several are complaining again as the city debates renewing the contract.

One of the businesses speaking out is Albany Bistro, which submitted a bid to serve alcohol at the harbor two years ago. The contract ultimately went to Pavillion. Albany Bistro's owner said it is time for others to have a shot and turn the situation around.

"It really seems like the city is trying to pull a backroom deal here to get someone in as the sole provider for the liquor at Ingalls," said Jake Reed. "Me and several other businesses would really like to see more competition instead of just picking your bud from the golf course and saying that's who we're going to have."

Decatur's city attorney said they originally wanted a three-year deal with Pavillion and that the city council will vote next month on a new deal.

"It is pretty much a case of they picked who they wanted and that's who they've got in there," said Reed. "Does it bother me that the city hasn't made any money? Well, that's what they wanted, so they are getting what they want."

City leaders in Florence, Guntersville and Huntsville said they do not employ any type of contract like the one Decatur is in.

Attempts to reach Pavillion owner Jimmy Sykes for comment were unsuccessful.

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