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Baltimore County Wants An Advance On Its School Construction Allowance

Last month, Governor Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot summoned Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to appear before the Board of Public Works Wednesday. They want to question him about why some Baltimore County schools don’t have air conditioning.

But Kamenetz won’t be making the trip to Annapolis.

Kamenetz instead has a “Coffee With Kevin” meeting with constituents at the Essex Senior Center.

Meantime, the back and forth between Baltimore County and the State Comptroller over air conditioning in all the county schools continued Tuesday. Kamenetz laid out a plan to pick up the pace, but it depends on getting a lot more money from the state.

Kamenetz, flanked by members of the General Assembly, County Council and School Board, said he’ll ask the state for an advance of about $177 million in school construction money to put toward replacing, renovating and air conditioning schools.

He said that would allow the county to get every school done by December 2019, two years ahead of schedule.

Franchot had suggested the county buy window air conditioners to help cool the schools while renovations take place, like Anne Arundel did.

Kamenetz countered that was a waste of money that could have been used for a permanent fix in 30 Anne Arundel County schools.

“And as opposed to just doing the job the right way, which could have been completed 12 years ago, half of those 30 schools still don’t have central air,” Kamenetz said.

But a Franchot spokesman called Kamenetz’s remarks inaccurate and insulting. He said the Comptroller has not received a single complaint from an Anne Arundel parent, teacher or student about sweltering classrooms.