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Nonprofit seeks $2.5 million from state

January 20, 2000|By LAURA ERNDE

ANNAPOLIS - The vice president of a Washington County nursing home company is asking for $2.5 million from the state for his newly formed nonprofit foundation.

The latest request to the local delegation to the Maryland General Assembly more than doubles the amount being sought by nonprofit groups this legislative session.

Lawmakers said Thursday they might tell the Magnolia Foundation that its request came too late to ask for funding through the state's bond-bill program.

The Magnolia Foundation was formed to help senior citizens who can't afford things such as transportation or meals but aren't poor enough to qualify for public assistance, said Peter E. Perini Sr., foundation president.

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"Basically, people that kind of fall through the cracks," said Perini, vice president of Magnolia Management, which operates six nursing homes in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

The $2.5 million would be used to purchase a vacant building for the nonprofit's headquarters, he said.

The building would require about $500,000 in improvements, which would be done with donated services, he said.

"With the current fiscal status of the state, we figured this is as good a time as any," Perini said, referring to the state's $1 billion surplus.

Before the delegation saw Magnolia's request on Thursday, legislators had already received $2.2 million in requests from eight organizations including the YMCA, American Red Cross, Clear Spring Library and Washington County Humane Society.

In a typical year, the delegation can expect to be granted about $500,000 through the state's bond bill program, under which the state borrows money to give grants to nonprofits across the state.

Lawmakers eventually will have to prioritize the requests.

Some lawmakers were concerned that Magnolia's request isn't fully matched.

Lawmakers also weight the requests based on how well prepared the group is to proceed with their project, they said.

Del. Sue Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington, who is involved in the bond bill process through her work on the Appropriations Committee, said she has never seen a bond-bill request from a nursing home.

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