Blair Oaks Discusses Next Move After County Files Suit
WARDSVILLE - The Blair Oaks School District met with its lawyers in a closed-door meeting Monday night after Cole County filed a lawsuit against them last week.
The lawsuit is the latest salvo in an ongoing dispute over how to solve a problem with the county's method of distributing surtax revenues, which sent more than $4.5 million to the wrong government entities over the course of two decades.
Blair Oaks was one of the beneficiaries of the county's miscalculations. County documents show the district received more than $650,000 in revenues that should have gone to government entities, and district officials agree that it should pay that back.
But Blair Oaks district leaders disagree with the county over the amount the district must repay, among other details included in a plan the county drew up to correct the mistake.
Jefferson City filed suit against Cole County on Thursday in an attempt to recoup more than $1 million in tax revenues it says the county sent to other government entities in error.
If the disputing parties do not come to a settlement, a judgment in the case means any repayment would happen in one lump sum. The plan the county had drawn up called for repayments to occur over a number of years.
Blair Oaks superintendent Jim Jones says the district cannot afford to repay the amount it owes in one lump sum.
"We're going to take this one day at at a time," Jones said. "Most of the communication now between the district and the county will be done by legal counsel. But again, we want to preserve the integrity of the process."