Green Forest in clear on federal suit, mayor says

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

By Haley Schichtl

The city of Green Forest will not have to pay anything in connection with a federal civil rights lawsuit filed by a Boone County man in 2019, Mayor Jerry Carlton told the Green Forest City Council at its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 10.

Trevor Haynes filed the lawsuit in federal court in July 2019. Defendants are the city of Alpena, the city of Green Forest and four now-former police officers — two from each city.

The suit stems from a traffic stop initiated by Alpena police on July 18, 2017. The Alpena officers requested assistance from a Green Forest police K-9 unit, and the Green Forest drug dog alerted on the car.

Alpena police arrested Haynes, but when they later searched the vehicle, no drugs were found.

Also at the Nov. 10 meeting, Carlton told the council the pay scale will need to be increased for city employees in accordance with the state minimum wage being increased to $11 an hour in 2021.

He then informed the council that the city has incurred about $1 million in bad debt from things such as water department fines and outstanding warrants.

“Steps are being taken to prevent further bad debt from being accumulated,” Carlton said.

In other business, the council passed an ordinance to move the council meetings from 8:30 a.m. on the second Tuesday of the month to 6 p.m. on the second Monday of the month, starting with the next meeting.

The council accepted bids from Ashley Construction to place new metal roofs on the old filter plant for $13,875 and on the rodeo concession stand for $6,875.

Carlton said the city is also now taking bids for the new community building.

The council voted to adopt an ordinance to update the backflow prevention ordinance, as recommended by the state.

The City Council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14.

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