IMP vs. LN, Maryland Edition

Seth Hurwitz and It’s My Party have filed suit against the State of Maryland to stop a $4 million payment from being made to Montgomery County for construction of a Fillmore-branded club in Silver Spring.

The suit says the county hasn’t provided enough information about the project’s costs as required by the state’s General Assembly. The $4 million state payment is in addition to a matching amount from the county and a $2 million cash injection from Live Nation.

The suit alleges that specific legal requirements have not been met to allow the state to provide funding, including neither an adequate economic feasibility study nor a full cost analysis.

While Montgomery County reportedly provided support documents to the state that it says meet those requirements, a state circuit court issued a temporary restraining order preventing any money from being distributed before June 28, the state’s deadline to respond to the suit.

No date has been set for the lawsuit, which was filed in Anne Arundel County circuit court in Annapolis, Md.

Hurwitz isn’t the only Marylander with issues over the expenditure of taxpayer money on a for-profit venture in a tight economy. State Sen. Ed DeGrange wrote a letter of protest in April to the chairman of the senate’s budget and taxation committee about the release of funds.

Citing a projected $1 billion budget shortfall for Montgomery County, DeGrange accused officials of giving the necessary requirements for release of state funds short shrift, calling the cost analysis submitted “bogus and full of holes.” He said a feasibility study is “scanty at best and appears to be generated from mostly secondary, Internet based research…without substance or conclusion.”

The Live Nation venue has been in the planning stages for several years and is in the process of clearing the last few bureaucratic hurdles before breaking ground. Hurwitz has challenged the project since the county awarded the project to Live Nation, saying he could build a concert venue on the Silver Spring site without public funds.