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Smithsburg Town Council proposes $4.6 million revenue bond for Brook Lane mental health facility

September 03, 2013|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG — Despite concerns among some members, the Smithsburg Town Council Tuesday night passed a resolution introducing a proposed $4.6 million revenue bond for a nearby mental-health facility to expand.

R. Lynn Rushing, chief executive officer of Brook Lane, appeared before council members to talk about the need for a 14-bed addition to the private facility located between Smithsburg and Leitersburg.

Rushing said the addition is needed because Brook Lane turned away 1,200 people in the past fiscal year, 700 of whom were children.

Rushing and attorney Cheryl O’Donnell Guth appeared before the council to request that the town help Brook Lane obtain an economic development revenue bond for the project.

Brook Lane had to come to the town because the type of bond being sought must be channeled through a government entity, Rushing said. The town would have no liability in the process, officials said at the meeting.

The town would issue the bond, and the proceeds would go to Brook Lane. Then Brook Lane would have to pay back Susquehanna Bank, which would be the bond-holder, according to Smithsburg Mayor Mildred “Mickey” Myers.

Council members Donnie Souders, Jim Fritsch and Heath Abbott passed the resolution to introduce the bond issue. Councilman Troy Jernigan voted no, and Councilman Tyler Lushbaugh was absent.

 The council will hold a public hearing on the proposal on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m., and is expected to vote on the bond issue at that meeting, Myers said.

 Abbott said he wanted to be able to talk to the town attorney about the bond issue, while Jernigan said he wanted to hear public input on the idea.

“I’m totally lost. I don’t know why they are coming to the town of Smithsburg,” Jernigan said.

Myers said the town agreed to an identical funding arrangement for Brook Lane when it completed an expansion in 2002.

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