Discussions continue on offender regulations

The New Prague City Council continued discussions on a proposed draft for predatory offender residency regulations at its Monday, Dec. 19, meeting. A final draft of the ordinance is to be presented to the council at its Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017 meeting.

During the discussion, council member Shawn Ryan asked about increasing the setback requirement. It is proposed there will be a 1,000 foot setback requirement to restrict either permanent or temporary residence from any school, licensed child-care center, park, library, place of worship, dedicated vulnerable adult housing, or any other place where children are known to gather. Ryan cited St. Paul as having a setback of 1,250 feet. He asked if they could have it at that or more.

City Attorney Scott Riggs of the firm Kennedy & Graven said if the city were to increase to 2,000 feet, there would be only two lots in the city where residences could be located, which are both in the city’s industrial park. Riggs said it would be disingenuous for the city to then say it has areas open.

Ryan asked if other cities have a distance of 1,200 to 1,250 feet or more that perhaps New Prague could have that distance.

The council was also asked that under “Designated Offender” that the listing of a “sex offender” be changed to “predatory offender” to provide a clarification. Predatory offenders can also include those involved in murder, kidnapping, engaging in sex trafficking plus several other offenses.

Council member Amy Jirik asked if the police are informed about what type of offenders are moving into a community. Riggs said a level three offender is public data, but others are not.

Council member Jenna Tuma asked if they are notified when someone....

To see more on this story pick up the December 29, 2016 print edition of The New Prague Times.