Millions of dollars meant for new schools caught in legal battle

YORK COUNTY, S.C. — Millions of dollars collected from homeowners to pay for new schools in Fort Mill have been sitting untouched for months due to a lawsuit filed by the county against the school district.

The Fort Mill School District had already collected more than $42 million in impact fees when the county filed its lawsuit last year.

The school district wanted to use the funds to pay for Catawba Ridge High School, Forest Creek Middle School, Kings Town Elementary and River Trail elementary schools, which were already built with bond dollars. County leaders said the money could not be used to pay for bonds on schools that were already built.

The York County Council voted Monday night in favor of a resolution that could allow the district to use those fees on a new capital improvement plan evaluated by county planners.

Councilman William “Bump” Roddey said he wants the lawsuit to play out and ultimately wants the impact fees refunded.

A spokesman for the school district said the district has been working with county leaders behind the scenes on a resolution that would get that money into the district.

“We’ve actually been working with the county, even during the time of the lawsuit going on, to try to come to a resolution so that we can get these funds in play for schools and needs,” said Joe Burke, a spokesperson with the Fort Mill School District.

“I think we should work out a plan to disperse that money back to the people that paid it in,” Roddey said.

Leaders from York County and the Fort Mill School District are talking about a path forward.

VIDEO: District can’t access money to pay for new schools

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