Kamenetz Accelerates School A/C Repairs, Hogan Criticism After Funding Freeze

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After the governor and comptroller froze school funding over air conditioning, Baltimore County came up with a new plan to cool the schools. But the rhetoric remained hot.

On Wednesday, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced plans to speed up air conditioning repairs at schools. The $83 million plan would give all elementary and middle schools A/C by the fall of 2017, with all high schools being completed in 2018.

The action follows a move by Gov. Larry Hogan and state Comptroller Peter Franchot to withhold funding until air conditioning was installed through their seats on the Board of Public Works. A top state official who oversaw school construction resigned over the move.

Kamenetz is calling for central A/C systems, which is much different than the portable units that Hogan and Franchot urged. Along with the distinct plan, the County Executive criticized Hogan in a press release announcing the plan, saying they didn’t want “window units from Home Depot.”

“Last week, Governor Hogan withheld $10 million of State funds as ransom so that we would capitulate and install window units. It’s ridiculous that we have to advance the State’s share of funding to do the job right the first time,” Kamenetz said in the statement.

The Baltimore County Council will have to approve the plan.

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