This week, Governor Susana Martinez vetoed $112,000 in funding that was supposed to help build a new library in the International District.
“It’s very maddening that she would do this and there just seems to be no reason,” said New Mexico State Sen. Mimi Stewart, who represents the International District.
The library has been in the planning stages for years. It will be located on the north side of Central Ave. between Charleston and San Pablo, where the old Caravan Night Club used to be.
Early renderings for the project hope it will one day include a rooftop terrace, outdoor park and shaded area, a dog park, a market and a place for AMAFCA to work to regulate flooding issues in the neighborhood.
The project’s total budget is about $13 million, so in the grand scheme of things $112,000 may not seem like much, but Stewart says it is.
“It’s one of the highest poverty areas of our city. It’s one of the areas that have the most crime and the community has really tried to come together around organizing a library we can send our students to, that the community can go to, to make it more of a community,” said Stewart.
KRQE News 13 repeatedly reached out to Gov. Martinez’s office to ask why she chose to veto this funding, but the governor never responded.
Currently, the project is expected to take another two to three years to complete. However, Stewart says the governor’s veto will cause a delay.
“I think her veto will delay us but we’re a fighting community and we will keep looking for these funds,” said Stewart.
KRQE News 13 spoke with several people who live in and near the site of the future library who are not happy with the governor’s decision.
“I’m really upset that she’s doing that,” said Shelly Ginsburg.
“It’s a little bit shocking,” said Joshua Manson.
Manson added, depending on what the governor cut the funding for, he could understand her position.
On Sunday, March 11, there will be a community meeting about the library at the Mesa Verde Community Center at 7900 Marquette Ave. NE.
Residents are welcome to stop by anytime between 1-5 p.m.