Commissioners Seek Solution to Troubled Library Cafe Space
SAN ANGELO, TX -- Tom Green County Commissioners Friday issued a request for proposals for the Stephens Central Library Cafe for the third time since it closed earlier this year.
The Stephens Central Library opened in 2011 and the cafe space has been leased a few times but nothing seems to last long. The last tenant’s lease was terminated for nonpayment of rent.
The cafe space is in the lobby area at the front entrance of the library. When it was first leased, the cafe was only allowed to operate during the hours the library was opened; Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m and closed Sunday.
Part of the issue is that a very small percentage of library patrons make purchases from the previous tenants. Another challenge is that city building codes don’t allow a full kitchen in the library cafe space. Microwaves and toaster oven type appliances are allowed, but food cannot be cooked on site.
County Judge Steve Floyd has suggested in the past that the cafe be allowed to open earlier in the morning to attract people who work in offices downtown and have to be at work before 8 a.m. By the time the library opens, all those potential customers have been at work for an hour.
With the expansion of the food truck business downtown, the request for proposals might attract a vendor who has an off site kitchen and could bring in breakfast burritos or other breakfast items along with coffee and soft drinks, etc.
The previous two requests for proposals were rejected after a single bidder withdrew their proposal. The RFP issued Friday will close on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019.
In other business, commissioners approved allowing Deputy Ron Sanders to purchase his duty weapon upon his retirement. Sanders has served many years as a detective for the Tom Green County Sheriff’s office and retired Friday. He spent over 30 years working for the Sheriff’s office. Sanders began his employment as a jailer before becoming a patrol deputy then detective.
Commissioners also agreed to enter negotiations with Reliant Energy for a 96 month energy contract. The county currently pays 3.86 cents per kilowatt hour. Reliant has offered to reduce the KWH to 3.272 cents saving county taxpayers about $60,000 per year.
Commissioners meet again on Tuesday Jan. 1 to attend the swearing in of those candidates who were elected in November. Sammy Farmer will be sworn in as Pct. 2 Commissioner replacing Aubrey DeCordova who retired. Susan Werner will be sworn in as Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace. She was appointed to the position in December 2016 and ran for elected office in the March 2018 primary and defeated Democratic candidate Sally Ayana in November. Bill Ford will be sworn in as Pct. 4 County Commissioner after defeating last minute write-in candidate Gilbert Gallegos. Several elected officials ran unopposed in the general election and will also be sworn in.
The swearing in ceremony is set for 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019 in the Commissioners Court Room on the second floor of the Keyes building at 113 W. Beauregard.