Commissioner: 'No idea things were so bad in school district' - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Commissioner: 'No idea things were so bad in school district'

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UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

The Union County school board could decide Tuesday night whether or not to accept an offer from the Union County Board of Commissioners. School board members say they will not drag their feet when dealing with this matter.

The county is offering about $11 million to the school district instead of the $91 million verdict a jury awarded the school district to help replace leaky roofs and give more money to help educate the students.  

"They felt that was the appropriate thing to do," Union County Manager Cindy Coto said. "To try and address some of the immediate concerns."

Coto says the commissioners didn't know how bad things were throughout the school district.

"We were unaware," Coto said. "And we had not been provided the information related to what were the true roofing needs of the school, and may not have been made aware until of the trial process."

The county is appealing the $91 million dollar verdict.  It says taxes would go up if they had to pay that amount. 

The county now is willing to borrow most of the money to offer the school district about $11 million to settle.  This is the second offer the county has made to the school district since the trial ended a few months back. 

"All those settlement offers have tried to deal with the roofs," Coto said. "So that we could in fact make sure our children were in a safe environment."

The county is still going forward with its appeal.  Officials say it could take about a year before the appeal is heard in court.  In the meantime the county hopes they can settle this dispute sooner rather than later.

The school board rejected the first offer, no word what their response will be concerning the latest offer on the table. 

"If they were to come back," Coto said. "And say the settlement offer was not acceptable - that they would come back with a response to what they would consider to be acceptable."

The school board has until Friday, December 13th to decide if it will accept the county's offer.

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