County Schools To Get $11.7 Million, 20 Acres Near Howard High From City In Lawsuit Settlement

Thursday, July 17, 2014 - by Hollie Webb

The Hamilton County School Board on Thursday afternoon approved a settlement to its lawsuit against the city of Chattanooga in which the city has agreed to pay $11.7 million in cash back to the Board of Education.

School Board attorney Scott Bennett said, "We believe it is a very fair resolution and settlement." 

The Board of Education filed a lawsuit against the city to get its portion of the liquor-by-the-drink tax fund allotted to the schools by Tennessee law.

Attorney Bennett said, "The city began to withhold the liquor tax revenue to offset what they believed was owed in stormwater fees." 

However, he said, the Hamilton County Commission had passed a resolution at the time which prevented county funds from being used toward stormwater fees.

Director of Accounting and Budgeting Christie Jordan was responsible for calculating the exact amount owed from all the way back to 1980. 

The city has agreed to pay the money in installments, with the first being a payment of $1.96 million.

The city has also agreed to give the board 20 acres of land near Howard High School, with a value totaling $2.8 million. 

Attorney Bennett said, "Over the course of time, the facts that were in dispute became fairly easily decided."

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