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St. Pete sues local nonprofit for failing to pay for city-provided services

A local jazz charity agreed to reimburse the city for police and fire, but didn’t

The city of St. Petersburg is suing a local nonprofit over missed payments for security for a co-sponsored event.

St. Petersburg Jazz Explosion is a locally-based group founded in 2015 that provides scholarship funding to local youth art programs for equipment, books, upgrades to facilities and travel, according to the group. They also seek to showcase aspiring musicians.

In 2017, the group hosted a weekend concert at Vinoy Park called the St. Petersburg Jazz Experience with the city as a co-sponsor. The city promoted the event as part of its annual SPF festival series, called that year, SPF 17.

The group reportedly agreed to pay the city $15,000 to cover the cost of police and fire first responders and traffic management. But according to the lawsuit, St. Petersburg Jazz Experience never paid its bill.

The city now seeks payment in full, plus late fees.

The event featured artists including Alison Hinds, Arturo Tappin, Frankie Ruiz Jr., DJ O. Sharp, Down to the Bone, InnerCity Energy Band, Frankie Pineiro, City Groove and others.

Tickets for the event were $45 per day with some discounted options available including a $22.50 special for single-day entry.

The city filed the lawsuit Jan. 29 in Pinellas County Court.

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