As a candidate last summer, Bill de Blasio told Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg that New York City should stop financing the ambitious renovation of the Fifth Avenue flagship of the New York Public Library until someone figured out how much it was all going to cost.
Now that Mr. de Blasio is mayor, he holds that very power, and people on both sides of the question are weighing in on how he should wield it as the city budgeting process begins.
For the time being, Mr. de Blasio has let stand the $150 million in capital funds that the Bloomberg administration pledged to the renovation project. But the cost analysis that he called for last summer has yet to be completed, and his office has said its final funding decisions on the library and other capital projects will not be made until the spring.
In recent weeks, the Committee to Save the New York Public Library, which opposes the renovation, has forwarded about 3,000 email letters from supporters imploring the mayor to reconsider the plan. Several elected officials have also written letters to Mr. de Blasio urging him to direct the money elsewhere.
“I am deeply concerned about several of the proposed changes,” State Senator Brad Hoylman, Democrat of Manhattan, whose district includes the library, said in a letter to the mayor last month, and “ask that you consider redirecting the capital funds the Bloomberg administration allocated to this plan for more cost-effective projects that advance the N.Y.P.L.’s mission.”
Library officials similarly acknowledge that communicating with the new administration is an important step in ensuring the city’s continued support for the project, once known as the Central Library Plan. The renovation would largely entail locating a circulating library inside the 42nd Street main building by removing a good portion of the stacks.
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