Update (!2/16): The full City Council voted 45-1 to approve the library deal today. DNA Info reports that the full City Council “is expected to vote” tomorrow (Wednesday, December 16) on the deal to replace the existing Brooklyn Heights Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library with a new, slightly smaller library located on the same site but in the base of a high rise residential building. As we reported earlier, last week the City Council’s Land Use Committee approved the deal, based on Council Member Stephen Levin’s having negotiated an increase in the size of the new library, BPL’s commitment to build a new branch library to serve DUMBO and Vinegar Hill, and other concessions detailed here.
It’s considered almost certain that the full Council will approve the deal, given that it is supported by the Council Member (Levin) whose district includes the library, as well as by the Mayor. As the DNA Info story indicates, though, two high City officials, the Comptroller and the Public Advocate, have sent letters to the Council raising concerns about the project. Civic group Citizens Defending Libraries, headed by Brooklyn Heights resident Michael D.D. White, has also objected based on the lack of transparency of the negotiations among Levin, BPL, and the developer, and on the Mayor’s alleged conflict of interest based on campaign contributions he received from the developer and the architect of the proposed new building. DNA Info reports that the Mayor’s Office has denied these allegations, saying the Mayor supports the project on its merits.