A settlement conference between the city of McMinnville and Warren County over local option sales tax is schedule for Oct. 11 at 1 p.m.
The second settlement conference for the parties was ordered by the judge presiding over the case, Judge J.B. Cox. Paperwork filed at the Clerk and Master’s office arranging the conference does not give a reason for the judge’s decision.
The settlement conference came after Judge Cox ruled against both parties in summary judgment requests. A summary judgment is a determination made by a court without a full trial and is an attempt by a party in the case to promptly and expeditiously dispose of a case without a trial.
City counsel requested a summary judgment that the contract, originally made in 1969, be declared against public policy as a matter of law in that it contains no expiration date. Further, the city argued the county, as a matter of law, has not provided the high quality of education alluded to in the contracts.
The county’s summary judgment request was made on the grounds it has faithfully performed under the contract, that it has provided a quality education by obtaining and maintaining appropriate state SACS accreditation and successfully running and maintaining the system for all these many years, among other reasons.
The judge’s refusal to allow summary judgment for the city or the county means the judge has found both sides have merit and will be heard unless a settlement can be reached.
At stake for both parties is approximately $2 million annually in local option sales taxes. A 1969 agreement between the city and county gives a portion of the city’s taxes to the county for taking over and running the schools.
Being a settlement conference, the meeting is not open to the public. Also, given the judge’s gag order, the details of that meeting cannot be discussed publicly by those in attendance. If parties reach a settlement, details will be included in court records and can be made public.
The settlement conference is scheduled to be heard in the Putnam County Justice Center in Cookeville.