- Associated Press - Sunday, May 3, 2015

ITTA BENA, Miss. (AP) - Itta Bena officials say the tiny Delta town is paying overdue bills and taking other steps to fix financial problems.

The town, which has only about 2,000 residents, has sent $50,000 to Leflore County to pay debts for garbage collection and law enforcement, Mayor Thelma Collins said.

“All of the naysayers believe that Itta Bena is dying, but we are getting it on track,” Collins said. “Before we see the sunshine, we have to go through the rain.”

The Greenwood Commonwealth reported (https://bit.ly/1K0rdHU) that while city clerk Edna Beverly was examining utility records, she found whole streets had been left off the rolls or mistakenly marked as inactive.

Collins said Itta Bena has paid $102,000 to the Municipal Energy Association of Mississippi, but the town still owes the electricity supplier nearly $674,000.

She said the town also made an $8,900 monthly payment on a federal tax lien the IRS imposed after the town failed to pay $200,000 in payroll taxes from January 2012 to March 2013. Collins said she hopes the IRS will waive some of the penalties and fees that it set.

The town also has paid a $775 sewer bill, she said.

An accountant from Memphis, Tennessee, is working with Itta Bena officials to straighten out the money matters.

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Information from: The Greenwood Commonwealth, https://www.gwcommonwealth.com

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