Shelby County, Municipalities Legal Bills Adding Up

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(Bartlett) In the battle to get their own schools, municipalities have forked over hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorney's fees.

"It's a shame that we're having to spend our money for that but that's the choice of the (Shelby) county commission," said Bartlett Mayor, Keith McDonald. "They have tried to revoke our right and authority as a community we have to stand up to it."

However, standing up is costly.

Bartlett already paid $650,000 in the school fight.

Tuesday night, McDonald will ask the Board of Alderman for another $250,000 to hopefully fund the rest of the legal battle.

"The lawyers cost a lot of money and particularly, it's the county commission that feels like they can spend whatever they want and we have to defend ourselves," McDonald said.

But Bartlett is not the only one in this fight.

The other municipalities pay in proportion to their population.

So far, Collierville spent almost $400,000, Germantown forked over $340,000 and Millington is paying another $90,000.

The Shelby County Commission is also forced to pay its lawyers.

So far it totals more than $1.5 million.

Bartlett taxpayers like Denise McCutcheon support the mayor's request and hopes the whole mess ends sooner than later, "I'm ready for them to go ahead and make a decision about it so that I know what to expect for my own children."

McDonald does not anticipate getting the money will be a problem.

The city has been collecting a half-cent sales tax to go towards the schools.

The meeting is 7:00, Tuesday night at city hall.