The City Council of Forest City adopted an ordinance eliminating the penalty of imprisonment within the city.
The ordinance, as presented by city attorney Steve Bakke, was approved by the council during its June 17 meeting.
“When there is a possibility of an imprisonment, jail time, they have a court-appointed attorney, and if they can’t pay for a court-appointed attorney in the state of Iowa, it’s a city charge baseboard,” Bakke said. “This just simply eliminates the imprisonment so we don’t get bills from the attorney’s office for this.”
Although the city council had dismissed a similar ordinance in the past, this one is different because it focuses on specific sections and penalties Bakke had missed the first time around.
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With this new ordinance, which deals with underage people misrepresenting their age to purchase alcohol, consuming alcohol and appearing in public after consuming alcohol, the penalty is now a simple misdemeanor punishable by a fine between $65 and $500.
Before this ordinance, jail time of a maximum 30 days was also a possible punishment.
As this was the first reading of the ordinance, the council approved waiving the rules for adopting the ordinance, which require the ordinance to be read on three different days.