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Sex Offender Ordinance Passes Pound Town Board
The Pound Town Board unanimously passed a sexual offender placement ordinance 2017-001 on Tuesday, June 6, restricting where sex offenders can live in the town.
The ordinance states that "it is unlawful for any Registered Sexual Offender to abide, lodge or reside in a permanent or temporary residence located within the Town of Pound, when such residence is located within 1,500 feet of any child safety zone."
The ordinance defines a child safety zone as any place which provides facilities or attractions to children or any residence where children are living.
Town Chairman Jerry Heroux referenced ordinances passed by Cloverdale, Allouez and Coleman, while "adding a few things." The ordinances he referenced did not restrict sex offenders from living within 1,500 feet of children.
"If someone down the line tells me it's illegal, OK. We can always amend it," Heroux said.
The only reasons a sex offender would be allowed to enter within 1,500 feet would be to attend a scheduled meeting with an attorney, attend a scheduled meeting with a social service provider, comply with a request or court order from the judiciary, attend church services or church functions or attend to familial or parental obligations.
Any violation of the ordinance would result in a forfetiture of $100 per day, with continued violations becoming a separate offense.
Any person will be exempt if the offender lived in the residence before the ordinance became effective, if he or she committed the crime as a minor and were not sentenced as an adult or if the offender lives with his or her parents.
No sex offender will be allowed to reside in the Town of Pound unless the Town Board has been given 60 days' written notice. The ordinance also restricts any offender to reside in the Town of Pound unless he or she was a Marinette County resident before committing a sex offense, and does not allow more than one sex offender to stay in a residence.
Heroux said he wanted to get something in place before Assembly Bill 64 (AB-64), the state budget, potentially goes into place on July 1. Heroux referenced a previous conversation with State Representative John Nygren and a letter he received from State Senator Dave Hansen.
In Hansen's letter, which was read during the communications portion of the meeting, he stated that sex offender placement would transfer from state to county officials if the budget passes as is. The budget still must pass the Joint Finance Committee, State Assembly and State Senate, however.
"As a father and grandfather I know how important this issue and the safety of our children are to you," Hansen wrote. "I will continue to follow this issue and do what I can to help keep our communities safe and keep you informed on this issue."
Coleman also passed an ordinance concerning sex offender placement within the village on Monday, June 5.