New chapter for library cafe

Refurbishment of the Mount Gambier Library café has been earmarked to commence this month.

The aptly named Bookmark Café ceased serving customers in August last year.

The café area will undergo an upgrade as part of City Council’s $145,000 allocated in the 2021-2022 annual business plan and budget.

At council’s April ordinary meeting Councillor Paul Jenner queried what future plans have been discussed for the space.

He posed it be leased as a teaching space for students to use their skills.

City and Community Growth general manager Tim Coote said council has been exploring options for the leasing of the café.

He said this included similar ideas to the one Cr Jenner mentioned.

“In the meantime, a trial for a coffee cart to be placed in Watson Terrace for library customers who want to access a coffee without venturing too far notably from programs with parents and children,” Mr Coote said.

Limestone Coast Pantry had operated the café in partnership with the council serving seven days a week for almost two years.

Meanwhile, another coffee shop that was operated in partnership with city council was also queried by Cr Jenner.

It has been nearly 18 months since the Blue Lake Welcome Centre coffee shop ceased operating at the Blue Lake.

Cr Jenner reported people in the community have been asking “what is council doing with the coffee shop at the Blue Lake?”.

He posed the same question to council with Mr Coote responding the space is currently in a temporary phase.

Mr Coote said this was pending the development of the Community Land Management Plan.

“Anything there is a pop-up service utilising the space in the interim period,” he said.

“The centre has not been reactivated as a coffee shop, but a temporary space to provide visitor information services with a range of merchandise.”

Though in a temporary phase, Mr Coote reported visitation through the centre has been successful, with numbers comparable and, on average higher, than the Lady Nelson visitor information centre.

The plan will consider the State Heritage Crater Lakes precinct is managed in accordance with the Crater Lakes Conservation Management Plan and is expected to involve community consultation.

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