Town's Money Woes Continue

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When Marion made only a partial payment to the city of Meridian for treating the town's sewage, it brought a financial shortfall to a head.

"If we can't find a way to be able to cut some of the costs that we're incurring right now, we may not be in existence much longer," said Rita Jones, wife of Marion Alderman Rufus Jones. "Because there's no way you can survive by having all these high bills and no way to pay them."

Meridian's sewage treatment bill to Marion was for $27,000. The town sent back $15,000 with a letter saying that was the best it could do.

There has been some talk about the possibility of nullifying the town's incorporation and becoming a part of Meridian.

Meridian Mayor John Robert Smith said the city would be willing to consider such a move but emphasized it will not make any overture to Marion's residents.

"This is something that Marion would need to decide was in their best interest," Smith said. "And I think if they look at the value for the taxes they pay they would be far better served inside the city of Meridian with full protection, fire service, sewer service and Meridian's ability to market property for retail and other development."

Marion Mayor Malcolm Threatt said he does not think such a request to Meridian is likely. Threatt added that he's not sure where the town will go from here.