Not enough good can be said about Cody Pardners and the work that non profit organization is doing on behalf of disabled adults.
Kathy Liscum, organizer of the charitable organization dedicated to providing vocational and social opportunities for disabled adults, is the driving force to give those adults another opportunity. She had requested the Park County Commissioners allow that organization to operate the Cody Library’s Biblio Bistro Cafe space.
Last week the commissioners gave her final approval to operate the space.
That cafe has been a source of frustration and disappointment for both the commissioners and the operators of the cafe since it opened in 2008.
We are all in on providing opportunities for disabled adults to have employment and social opportunities. But frankly, we don’t see how operating the cafe in the library space could be successful.
We sincerely hope it could. We just don’t see how that could happen.
When Virginia Scott ran the Point Cafe in that space, the commissioners only charged her $250 in monthly rent and paused her rent during the pandemic. Even at that low rent, Scott still couldn’t make it and closed the cafe.
Since opening in 2008, the Bistro lost money in the amounts of $30,000-$60,000 per year.
If the commissioners only charge Cody Pardners $1 month rent as they have suggested so Cody Pardners saves $3,000 a year in rent, that is still a long way off from breaking even when other operators lost thousands per year.
To make it successful, we believe Cody Pardners will need large state or federal grants or subsidies to succeed.
Even if Cody Pardners relies totally on volunteer labor, it seems like a dubious enterprise. They still need to purchase insurance and other overhead costs.
We would hate to see an excellent non profit like Cody Pardners be placed in an untenable fiscal situation. There must be other opportunities out there without as many risks.
We hope all involved studied the plan carefully and made the right decision.