From The Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — The city of Trussville is working on a stage agreement in order to move forward with a concert series in the Spring, but in the meantime, Ferus Artisan Ales is in charge of booking events in the area. Mayor Buddy Choat said the Trussville Entertainment District is still a work in progress, so changes will be made at a later date.
An agreement between the city and Coby Lake, owner of Ferus, states that the city has granted a license to Ferus for the use of the pavilion area in order to allow for social distancing and outdoor eating during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ferus added a new sign at the entrance of the pavilion area which reads, “No outside food or drink beyond this point.”
Furthermore, anyone interested in booking the stage for an event must contact Ferus. There is also a contracted company available to operate the stage lights and sound equipment for $350 per event, although Choat said the company has agreed to work with the public to make the price accessible.
For now, Ferus will book at least 20 local and regional acts and Ferus has first dibs on booking, according to Choat.
“Anything that is not booked, the city can book,” Choat said. “But with all of this construction going on, I don’t feel comfortable renting or leasing the pavilion area right now.”
Although the area is a work-in -rogress, the mayor said he still wants people to come to downtown Trussville and feel safe.
“We want to provide family-friendly entertainment for everybody,” Choat added. “There’s going to be events down here that will be obviously for adults but we are going to have all kinds of acts because we want people down here.
Choat said the city does have oversight on what Ferus books. The City Council must approve all acts that come to Trussville.
As for the agreement, Choat said once the Trussville Entertainment District (TED) is officially designated as an Entertainment District by Alabama ABC Law, changes will likely be made to the agreement.
“I want to see people from all over come in and out over here and enjoy their food from this restaurant and that restaurant once we get this thing done,” Choat said. “It’s a work in progress. We are all kind of in the dark right now because of COVID and not knowing what will be allowed. It’s not trying to make money off of him or him make money off of us, it’s trying to find that median to where it’s feasible for him and us to do this.”
The agreement states that the city intends to designate the Quad I area as an Entertainment District at a future time, but at this point in redevelopment it is “premature” to make such a designation by law.
Ferus is also responsible for all garbage and trash collection and repairs caused by “Ferus or its invitees.”
Lake has continued development around the pavilion and stage area and hopes to bring in more businesses. Unfortunately, Lake previously stated that the coronavirus pandemic has caused challenges.
The license fee for the pavilion area includes timely payment by Ferus of all city and state permits and licenses, including taxes, alcohol tax and sales tax revenues.