Stormwater Dispute Back in Court
Will their claims hold water? Time and a judge will tell. The stormwater dispute between Gainesville and Alachua county school board was back in court on Thursday.
The city sued the school board when they stopped paying their stormwater fees in December of 2009--- and they don't plan on paying anytime soon.
The school board tried dismissing the entire case in March--- claiming sovereign immunity. A judge denied that motion-- and this afternoon a new judge, Stanley Griffis, heard the school board's response.
The school board is asking for the recovery of the stormwater fees they've paid since the 80s---over two million dollars worth, and they also want to collect the money they've lost since January--what they're calling damages-- when the city terminated a contract that gave them a discount on their electric bill.
"Just like we don't pay fire services fees, it's just one other area that the legislature chose not to make us responsible for, the city has been able to extract over $2 million from us- in 22 years and it's time for the bleeding to stop," said Susan Seigle, attorney for the Alachua County School Board.
The city hopes Judge Griffis will grant their motion to dismiss the school board's claims.
"There are no cases to support their arguments, the counts that we have placed in the lawsuit are valid counts in the contract and we believe we are correct in our position," said Marion Radson, Gainesville City Attorney.
Both parties say they're prepared to go to trial.
Judge Griffis did not rule from the bench Thursday afternoon, instead he says he will make his decision sometime next week.
If he grants the city's motion to dismiss the claims-- the school board says they'll go forward--- and make an appeal.
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