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Southern Ulster TimesLloyd regulates housing for sex offenders

Lloyd regulates housing for sex offenders

Without objection from the public or from any Hotel or Motel owner at a public hearing, the Lloyd Town Board adopted a new local law that will require these establishments to obtain an occupancy license from the town if they are housing registered sex offenders.

The town law defines a sex offender as “a person who has been convicted of a violation of a sexual offense,” according to the NYS Penal Code or under Federal Law “and who has received a Level One, Two or Three designation,” as per NYS Correction Law.

Each Hotel or Motel owner must submit a competed application with the Town Clerk that contains pertinent information, such as their name, a description and location of the housing complex, the number of units and a description of the system used for registration of persons who are extended accommodations.

Within 30 days of receiving the license the Director of the Building Department will inspect the Hotel or Motel to ensure they are in compliance with all health, fire, safety, construction, zoning and all regulations and statues. Any deficiencies must be corrected within 30 days.

The law establishes an occupancy point system on the number of offenders that are allowed at any given location. A low risk Level One sex offender is assigned one occupancy point, a moderate risk Level Two Offender is assigned two occupancy points and a high risk Level Three offender is assigned three points. A Hotel or Motel with less than 50 units is granted a total of 6 occupancy points and establishments of 51 units and above are granted 9 occupancy points. By way of example, a licensed premise with less than 50 units is allowed to provide housing to no more than two Level Three sex offenders and to no more than three Level Two registered sex offenders at any given time. Any knowing occupancy violation will result in a hearing before the Town Board that could lead to the revocation of the license and further action by the Building Department and the Lloyd Police. A schedule of rising fines and possible imprisonment or both is included in the new law.

Hotel and Motel owners will also be required to post in their lobby or registration office a notice of the law that must be made available for public inspection.

The law states that any Hotel or Motel that has housed registered sex offenders prior to the law going into effect shall have 30 days after issuance of a license to comply with the terms of the law.

Riverkeeper seeking to protect watershed
Rebecca Martin, Special Projects Coordinator at Riverkeeper, informed the Town Board that her organization has compiled a “Source Water Protection Scorecard” that helps towns and municipalities “identify risks to water quality at public water supplies” and allows them to assess “how they are treating their watersheds and tributaries.”

Lloyd, one of seven municipalities that rely upon the Hudson River for their drinking water, uses varying percentages of river to reservoir water during the year. Martin said about 100,000 people in these seven towns tap the Hudson for their water, and for some it is their primary water source.

Martin said Riverkeeper is working with a consultant from the Center for Watershed Protection to review the submitted scorecards and will make recommendations to the towns after completion. She said she is asking the towns to submit documentation where needed and there is no cost to the towns for this study. Martin is expecting to have a first draft assessment of the Hudson River watershed by October and a final document by December 2017.

“We’re hoping you’ll work with us and essentially assist our consultant as we’re putting this information together,” she said.

Supervisor Hansut readily agreed and promised the town’s participation in the study.

“We realize the importance of the Hudson River and will do whatever we can to help you out,” he said.

In a press release Riverkeeper stated that the study was initiated because “there is no coordinated watershed-based program that specifically prioritizes and implements source water protection projects for the Hudson River.”

In April 2017 Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the Clean Water Infrastructure Act that will earmark $1.5 billion for towns to make improvements for drinking water infrastructure, clean water infrastructure and water quality protection across New York State.

Hansut said each month the town’s Director of the Water and Sewer Department apprises the Town Board of the use of Hudson River water.

Martin concluded by thanking the Town Board, adding “we look forward to collaborating with you.”

By Mark Reynolds

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