A Grand County company has brought a $1.5 million suit claiming Green River city officials blocked development of a truck stop to protect the mayor's family business.
G & O Inc. filed suit in U.S. District Court Tuesday against the city, Mayor Rey Lloyd Hatt and City Councilmen Tim Anderson, Blaine Luke, Richard Seely and Duane Riches.The mayor said the issue was the company's refusal to have its property annexed.
G & O leased 40 acres in 1988 to build a truck stop, motel and restaurant on the east side of I-70 in Green River.
G & O maintains that Hatt said water and sewer for the project could be obtained from the city in 1988 but changed his mind after the corporation leased land from the state for the development that same year.
The Grand County Commission granted a zone change on Aug. 8, 1988, but in July 1989 the city enacted an ordinance prohibiting the city from furnishing culinary water systems to businesses outside city limits, the suit said.
G & O said Councilman Michael Winters stated at the time that he would vote against the ordinance "because it was enacted solely to stop G & O development."
The corporation said the city turned down the request for utility lines last year.
"Everything hinges on the corporation annexing into the city," Hatt said. "If the annexation would be approved, Green River would automatically provide sewer and water lines, but G & O hasn't even applied."
G & O alleges that the mayor wrote a letter in 1986 "concerning property which his son-in-law was considering developing on the East Cloverleaf Exit at Green River City," adjacent to G & O's property.
"In that letter, the mayor stated that the city would work out water and sewer for the development there," according to the complaint.
The suit contends that city officials used inside information to "subvert and thwart the efforts of G & O" to gain approval for its development.
G & O, which operates a gravel and cement business in Green River, asks for an injunction to force the city to provide water for the proposed truck stop, treble damages to exceed $500,000 and $1 million punitive damages.