A New Main Library for San Diego?

The San Diego City Council voted 6-2 yesterday to pay the project’s original architect and construction consultants an additional $500,000 to begin the bidding process on construction of a new main library at Park Boulevard and J Street, twice the size of the existing facility on E Street.

Council members Carl DeMaio and Sherri Lightner voted against the payment. “Given our current and projected economic situation, we need to prioritize for basic neighborhood services first,” Lightner said.

Council President Ben Hueso said it is key for the city to get a cost estimate, and he dismissed budgetary concerns.

“Using the city’s financial situation as an excuse for not supporting this project and saying the future is uncertain I think is not a real good reason why we shouldn’t support this library today,” he said.

The hope is the project’s costs will be at or below the 4-year-old estimate of –whoa– $185 million. Sign on San Diego.