School board sues county to define who pays for roads

By LETITIA STEIN, Times Staff Writer
Published August 11, 2007

TAMPA - The Hillsborough School Board filed a long-expected lawsuit Friday against Hillsborough County, asking for a judge's ruling on who has to pay for roads and sidewalks around new campuses.

School and county officials disagree about the burden that can be placed on the school district under state law. The dispute has threatened to delay the planning and construction of new schools.

In the lawsuit, school officials say they are responsible for "only those improvements which are adjacent to or immediately abutting the school site."

They note that the county recently has attempted to make the district pay for a larger share.

But the School Board is not asking a judge to make the county pay. It merely wants a declaration clarifying the district's responsibility under law.

School Board attorney Tom Gonzalez said the county has 60 days to respond. He expects it will take the courts several months to resolve the issue.