Court Order Halts Construction of New South Bay Library

A new 15,000-square-foot South Bay library is caught in a funding fight between the city and county of Santa Clara, which has stopped the library's construction.

Santa Clara's planned Northside Library, at 695 Moreland Wy., is 99.9 percent complete and was to open Dec. 6, according to Maria Daane, executive director of the nonprofit Santa Clara City Library Foundation and Friends.

Construction on the library began in July 2012. It is located just behind the Rivermark Shopping Center off Montague Expressway between freeways 880 and 101.

The city set aside more than $19 million for the library. $11 million has been spent. Construction is almost done, but the library is empty.

Santa Clara County said the city is spending redevelopment money on the library when, under state  law, that money should go to schools and special districts. Additionally, the county won a court order freezing the city's redevelopment assets, the library included.

Daane said residents she has talked to "are furious with the county and sate for interfering with the process at this time."

"We think it's terrible," Daane said. We think it's an example of really bad government."

Library supporters are rallying at the construction site on Sunday morning in hopes the library will be allowed to open as planned.

On Monday, Santa Clara City Manager Julio Fuentes sent Daane a letter stating, "It is the city's desire to put a halt on the library project." And he has told city staff to stop working on it with the nonprofit founcation.

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