The city of Meridian has frozen the bank accounts of the town of Marion, in a dispute over sewage fees owed to Meridian.
This is the second time Marion's accounts have been frozen this year. The first time, Marion filed for bankruptcy in response. However a judge recently ruled that Marion doesn't have legal ground for bankruptcy. Now Meridian has frozen Marion's accounts again in an attempt to recover the figure in excess of $400,000.
"The town of Marion will not come up with this money overnight," said Marion Mayor Elvis Hudson.
"Once filed for the garnishment those accounts are frozen and can't be touched without authority," said Ken Storms, Meridian's chief administrative officer.
In total eleven accounts have been frozen. So how will Marion pay bills for day to day operations?
"I don't know," said Hudson. "The attorneys will have to work this out. In order for the utilities to continue, the payroll will have to be paid. If not, the health department will be involved. The question is, two to three weeks from now, what will happen? Is Mississippi Power going to leave the utilities on? And Waste Management, city police have to be paid. It's a public safety question and I don't know what the city of Meridian is thinking in seizing this money."
"We are taking a look at assets to see what can be received in payments in lieu of that debt," Storms said.
So what happens now? Storms says the city will fight to see that the citizens get the money back that they deserve.