When temperatures in Baltimore climbed into the mid-90s in August — a routine occurrence for summers in the city — broken air-conditioning systems forced nearly a quarter of city libraries to temporarily close their doors. It’s a seasonal problem that Baltimore officials are looking to tackle with a small portion of the city’s hundreds of millions of dollars in federal COVID-19 aid. Several million of the city’s $641 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding have been set aside for HVAC improvements in five city libraries. But the high costs of project materials and supply-chain backlogs could cause delays, or even prevent the city from making repairs at all five of the targeted libraries, said Marwan Alkarajat, chief of the capital projects division in the city’s Department of General Services.
Inflation, supply chain crunch put pressure on Baltimore to beat federal pandemic aid deadlines
October 3, 2022