You need to know What happened on Finance Main Street in Mason
When Mason, Tennessee, lost its ability to control its own finances in a fight with white state officials earlier this year, that brought to the attention of the Black public a majority of less than 1,600 people in a case claimed by domestic counsel be discriminatory.
For months, Mason fought for its own financial control after the town refused to surrender its charter, prompting the state to formally adopt its finances shortly after the Ford carrier announced a major project nearby. But in May, Mason officials dropped a lawsuit they brought to the Tennessee Chancery Court against a state official, after agreeing to more favorable terms, signaling the end of the long-running feud between home and state on racial discrimination and independence.
Most of the Black town, represented in court by the NAACP, announced during a press conference last month that it would regain its independence, while also taking advantage of the impending economic development opportunity. coming to the region.
The decision, forced on the home by state governor Jason Mumpower, came shortly after the announcement of the construction of a nearby Ford plant, which was due to open in 2025. The project is expected to bring $ 1.8 billion to the state and that it will create 18,000 jobs. . Mason, the nearest town to the plant with a sewerage and wastewater system that would use the plant, will be one of its biggest financial beneficiaries. This is one reason, according to Mason Deputy Mayor Virginia Rivers, that the town chose to take on the debt in March.
As a result, Mason was subject to the payment of nearly $ 600,000 of debt through monthly payment plans of approximately $ 22,000, due to its water, sewer and gas funds that had accrued since at least 2007, according to Mason’s financial factsheet . In addition to paying off debts, the town could not apply for grants or pay bills in excess of $ 100 unless approved by Mumpower, which began financial oversight in March.
“We were set up to fail,” Rivers told NBC News in March about the original repayment plan demanded by the regulator.