Moyne Shire Council and Mortlake Community Development Committee have reached an agreement that keeps the town's all-purpose meeting room in community hands.
In a joint statement with MCDC a council spokesman described the result as a "positive solution that suits both the operations of the joint library hub and the Mortlake community".
The Mortlake community will retain its lease and previous access to the meeting room, and the council will locate the hub elsewhere in the Mortlake Community Centre building.
Mayor Ian Smith thanked MCDC president Kelvin Goodall and said he was happy the situation had been resolved.
"Our discussions and in principle agreement ensure library services can continue to operate across the shire, embeds important council services in Mortlake and brings three new positions to the town, which has positive flow on effects for local businesses," Cr Smith said.
The Mortlake community had been up in arms in May when it discovered the council intended to terminate MCDC's lease and take over the room to use it as the hub for the new Corangamite and Moyne Library Service.
At the June council meeting the council said it had explored alternative hub sites, but none were appropriate, and that the council was legally empowered to end MCDC's lease. Councillors then voted to end the lease.
As reported previously in The Standard, MCDC then sent a letter through its lawyers to council arguing the lease termination was legally unsound. The council forwarded this letter to its own lawyers. After receiving advice from its lawyers, the council approached MCDC to negotiate a compromise.
The council declined to discuss the advice from lawyers and the u-turn on cancelling the lease.
Cr Smith echoed council chief executive Brett Davis when he said a lengthy legal process wouldn't have benefited either party.
"Council recognises things could and should have been done differently in relation to this matter. Council will reflect on the process followed and make the necessary changes," Cr Smith said.
Since councillors previously voted to terminate the lease and situate the hub in the community room, they will have to vote again on the new arrangements when they are finalised.
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