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Homewood at Williamsport requests help for renovation project

November 27, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS | heather.keels@herald-mail.com

Homewood at Williamsport MD Inc. has requested help from Washington County in financing the costs of a renovation project at its Williamsport, Md., nursing facility.

Homewood has asked the Board of County Commissioners to agree to issue up to $9.9 million in bonds and loan the proceeds to Homewood, according to a report accompanying the commissioners’ meeting agenda for Tuesday.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled for 1:30 p.m., during the commissioners’ meeting.

Federal and state laws allow the county to issue tax-exempt bonds and loan the proceeds to a borrower, Lindsey A. Rader, the county’s bond council, told the commissioners during an Oct. 25 briefing on the Homewood request.

“This allows them to get funds at a lower interest cost than they could get by going to a bank,” Rader said.

The county would not be liable for payments on the bonds, and their issuance would have no impact on the county’s borrowing limits or financial position, according to the agenda report from County Attorney John M. Martirano. Homewood would be responsible for all costs of the transaction, his report says.

Under a similar agreement in 2007, the county issued $12 million in bonds and loaned the proceeds to Homewood. At the time, the organization was replacing its 140-bed building on Virginia Avenue with a new, larger building.

Now, Rader said, Homewood would like to expand that facility, and is proposing to use the same documents that were used in 2007 for an additional loan from the county.

“This is a fairly common way to finance projects that are deemed to serve a public purpose throughout Maryland, and throughout the country, for that matter,” Rader told the commissioners in October.

At that meeting, Commissioner John F. Barr said he would abstain on the issue because his company is doing work for Homewood.

If you go...

What: Public hearing on economic development revenue bonds

When: Tuesday, 1:30 p.m.

Where: County Administration Building, 100 W. Washington St., commissioners’ meeting room (room 227)

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