In early 1972, a group of civic leaders met with the Brookville Village officials and the Community Improvement Corporation in an effort to initiate new development in Brookville. In addition to Mayor Al Vanwegen, in attendance were Reverend Donnis Burris, Pharon Denlinger, Vernon Dull, Harley Gentis, Robert Henn, William Howett, Richard Jackson, Christine Leiber, Jerry Leiber, Robert Rickert, Roy Somers, Ruthanne Strausburg and Carroll Studebaker. These leaders believed that the development of a nursing home was needed for the Brookville Community which was confirmed by the subsequent completion of a feasibility study completed by CM Corporation of Sioux City, lowa.
On April 6, 1972, at the direction of some of the above individuals, Articles of Incorporation were filed with the Ohio Secretary of State creating Brookville Enterprises, Inc. as an Ohio corporation. Members of 40 local families subscribed as shareholders and subsequently the By-Laws for the Corporation were adopted.
At the first meeting of the Corporation on April 20, 1972, nine individuals were named the first officers and directors for the Corporation. These nine directors then embarked on a mission to make the nursing home a reality.
Additional community involvement was obtained through the sale of 1000 shares of stock at a price of $100/share to residents of Brookville and the surrounding communities. To ensure a continued community operating philosophy and ensure the shareholders” interests would not be diluted, limitations were placed on the percentage of outstanding shares that could be owned by one family and written consent of the Corporation was required for a shareholder to sell or dispose of stock.
In addition, the Corporation issued $350,000 in bonds that were purchased by 120 Brookville area families in a three-week period of time. As a result of obtaining this funding, the Corporation was able to purchase 30 acres on Albert Road with an additional six acres on Brookville Salem being purchased later. With the acquisition of this land, the project had roots. However, this being just raw land, additional funding was still needed and work still needed to be done. With the assistance of the Village of Brookville and the proceeds of a $70,000 Community Block Grant, and additional private funding of $450,000, the necessary sewer and water lines for the facility were installed on Albert Road.
Funding for the construction of the site and building improvements did not come easily as the Corporation received numerous rejections for the project funding. Undeterred, the Corporation Directors were ultimately able to obtain a bifurcated participation funding commitment for the project with State Fidelity of Dayton providing $100,000 and Home Federal of Sioux City, Iowa providing $900,000. Due to the lenders’ rated project risk, the interest rate on this loan was 11%. Again, reaching out to the Brookville Community, the Corporation was able to raise an additional $500,000 of subordinated debentures at an 8-3/4% interest rate. These bonds were subordinated to the lender financing and had a deferred redemption period starting in June 1983. With this multi-faceted financing, the Corporation was able to complete the initial site and building improvements for BrookHaven. In preparation for the nursing home operations, in 1972, the Corporation previously had executed a contract with CM Corporation of Towa for the management of the nursing home.
Finally, on June 19, 1979, an application for a License to Operate a Home was filed with the Ohio Department of Health and the formal dedication of the 100-bed nursing home occurred on September 9, 1979. At that time, the Corporation’s shareholders consisted of 50-60 individuals from 40 community families.
In total, the effort to develop the nursing home took seven years. Today, the BrookHaven Retirement Community provides a continuum of care for the residents of the Brookville area and surrounding communities. The original nursing home and development of added levels of care would not have been made possible without the dedication and commitment of the original Corporation Directors demonstrating undaunted initiative, comprehensive due diligence and unwavering perseverance.