A simmering feud between the Palm Beach County School District and city of West Palm Beach over hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid storm water fees threatens several schools’ grounds with flooding after heavy rainstorms this summer.
The dispute could soon spill over into court if the school board today approves a recommendation from its general counsel Sheryl Wood to sue the city seeking an injunction barring it from disconnecting 21 schools that depend on storm water drainage provided by West Palm Beach.
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About this dispute
The Palm Beach County School Board will vote on Wednesday on whether to sue for an injunction to block the city of West Palm Beach from disconnecting schools from the stormwater drainage system on June 1.
The city is owed $284,000 in stormwater fees by the district, which, in a money-saving move last April, stopped paying the fees to five local cities, including West Palm Beach.
Florida stormwater cases
City of Key West v. Florida Keys Community College: The state’s Third District Court of Appeal ruled in January 2012 that state entities like school districts had sovereign immunity and did not have to pay municipal stormwater fees.
City of Ocala v. Marion County School Board: The city of Ocala sued Marion County Schools in 2011 after the school district there claimed it had sovereign immunity and stopped paying city stormwater fees. The case has been stalled in the state’s Fifth District Court of Appeal for about a year. Ocala, last year, sought to disconnect the school district from its stormwater system, but a judge barred the city from shutting them off.