City considers options for regulating sex offenders

Kathy McCarty, Special to The County
16 years ago

    PRESQUE ISLE, Maine – City Manager Tom Stevens on April 2 provided City Council with an update on City Solicitor Hugo Olore’s continued efforts to research how other communities in other states regulate sex offenders.
    “Hugo’s memo speaks for itself. We can enforce child safety zones and distance markers within proximity to places where children might be present,” said Stevens, adding that such laws pertain to pedophiles, not those charged with other sex offenses.
Many municipalities have adopted Megan’s Law which requires sex offenders to register and requires law enforcement to inform residents of the identity and location of sex offenders within the municipality.
The arrival in the community earlier this year of a released sex offender has raised concerns among local officials and citizens. Lacking previous experience in how to handle such circumstances, Olore was asked to review how cases are handled on a national basis. Only 26 states have adopted sex offenders residency restriction laws, according to Stevens.
“I encourage the Council to take Hugo up on his offer to discuss this at the next meeting. Council could then pursue further action then,” said Stevens.
Councilman Calvin Hall noted that information provided by Olore appeared to pertain to protecting children and not the general public.
“The information provided pertains to protecting children but that’s not the case with the situation we have here,” said Hall.
Stevens said Olore tried to focus on laws already on record.
“There are only a few on the books on residency legislation. Some communities have some type of local ordinances on residency, but there are none in Maine so far,” said Stevens.
Stevens noted that calls to his office have dropped off considerably concerning the local case.
“They’ve dropped of significantly to my office, although I can’t speak for other departments,” said Stevens.
Council agreed to continue discussion on the matter at its April 16 session.
In other recent news, Council discussed the following topics:
• Approved a Municipal Release Deed to Alden R. And Karen A. Dyer for tax-acquired property located at 51 Chapman Road;
• Approved the purchase of the HS 108 snowblower from HP Fairfield LLC of Skowhegan in the amount of $181,298, less the trade-in value of $46,500, for a net purchase amount of $134,798;
• Authorized City Manager Tom Stevens to sign the grant agreements with the FAA for the amount of $3,914,075 and with the state of Maine in the amount of $557,562;
• Authorized City Manager Tom Stevens to award the bid for the reconstruction of Runway 1-19 to H.E. Sargent for the amount of $4,270,979 upon the final executive of the grant agreement with the FAA and the state of Maine. Other bidders included Soderberg Company, Inc. for $4,584,365 and Ed Pelletier & Sons. Inc. for $5,197,465;
• Authorized the issuance of up to $1,650,000 principal amount of the tax anticipated notes of the city in anticipation of the receipt of taxes for the municipal fiscal year which commences Jan. 1, 2007 and ends Dec. 31, 2007;
• Authorized the chairman of City Council, the city manager and city treasurer to enter into an agreement with Katahdin Trust Company to borrow a tax anticipation note in an amount not to exceed $1,650,000 for the calendar year 2007 in lump sum at the rate of 3.88 percent;
• Scheduled two public hearings on April 2 and April 16 regarding Chapter 38 Floodplain Management Ordinance in order to replace the existing Feb. 23, 2005 City of Presque Isle Floodplain Management Ordinance and adopt the State Planning Office’s Annotated Model Ordinance, as amended and updated in June, 2006;
• Scheduled public hearings for April 2 and April 16 to consider amending Chapter 5 Traffic Regulations Ordinance, Section 5, Parking, to restrict parking by owners of vehicles unless they are conducting business at the establishment the parking lot serves;
• Scheduled a public hearing for April 16 to determine if the structure at 27 Allen Street constitutes a nuisance or dangerous building and make and record an order prescribing what disposal must be made of the structure;
• Approved the 2007 Municipal Warrant for Prosecuting Unlicensed Dog Owners/Keepers;
• Appointed Jim Park as alternate to the Board of Assessment Review for a one-year term, ending Dec. 31, 2007;
• Approved the following expenses to be paid from the Unclassified Contingent Account: personality profile test $145; fax machine for City Hall $199; flat panel screen for Council Chambers $189; replace two biathlon banners $134; reimbursement for travel expenses to look at recreation facilities $726.20 and handicap accessible chair lift repairs for the library $1,911.15;
• Approved consent agenda of City Council meeting minutes of March 5, written departmental reports for February and 2007 Warrants #9 and #10 totalling $665,952.56;
• Held a moment of silence April 2 in memory of past City Councilor Perley Dean;
• Recognized Cadette Girl Scout Haley Smith, daughter of Frank and Roxann Smith, of Presque Isle, for completing the requirements for the Girl Scout Silver Award;
• Approved a special amusement permit for dancing and entertainment application for B.P.O.E. Elks Lodge 1954, 508 Main Street;
• Approved the application for pawnbroker license for George Jaime, d/b/a Star City Trading, 167 State Street, with the condition that he must not buy or sell firearms per order of Police Chief Naldo Gagnon;
• Approved a bowling alley license for Northern Lanes Bowling Inc., 510 Main Street;
• Approved an employment agency license application for Tempo Employment Services, 34 North Street;
• Approved the application for a malt, spirituous and vinous liquor license for B.P.O. Elks Lodge 1954, 508 Main Street;
• Approved the application for a malt, spirituous and vinous liquor license for Wing Li Long, d/b/a Tang’s Courtyard, 745 Main Street;
• Awarded the 2997 pavement markings bid to Jordan’s Striping Service, Inc., of Westfield, in the amount of $27,700. Other bidders included: Pine State Safety Lines, Topsham Maine, $28,675; Markings, Inc., Pembroke, Mass., $36,420; and Hi-Way Safety Systems, Inc., Hanover, Mass., $30,000;
• Awarded the 2007 culvert bid to Everett J. Prescott, Inc., of Gardiner, in the amount of $12,732.31. Other bidders included: Public Works Supply Co., Lewiston, $13,097.75; Maine Water Works, Oakland, $13,315.48; Paris Farmers Union, South Paris, incomplete package; W.H. Shurtleff Co., South Portland, $14,290.39; and Ferguson Waterworks, Bangor, $13,618.81;
• Awarded the DEP Small Community Grant Septic Program bid for the replacement of a septic system for Allan and Wendy Bell, at 8 Village Drive, to Ground Breakers Group, Inc., (Scott Caron and Matt Leavitt) for the amount of $12,890. Other bidder: Langille Construction Inc. for $13,445;
• Approved consent agenda: City Council meeting minutes of March 19, March 21 retreat and Warrants  no. 1 and  no. 12 totaling $813,549.29;
• Amended the Dec. 4, 2006 minutes under  no. 6 New Business – D, the amount of the bid awarded should be $21,452.15 instead of $21,425.15; and
• State Rep. Jeremy Fischer provided a list of vacancies for committees on the state level and requested assistance form the city to make recommendations regarding individuals that might be suited for some of the vacancies.
In other business, the Audit Committee held their first meeting. Councilors Calvin Hall, G. Melvin Hovey, Walt Elish, Member-at-Large Larry LaPlante, City Manager Tom Stevens and Sharon DeMerchant met to discuss working with the auditors and the Finance Department in streamlining financial reports.
Councilor Don Gardner requested that the Recreation and Parks Facility Committee attend the next City Council meeting to provide an update. Stevens indicated that there would be a PowerPoint presentation made during the April 16 City Council meeting.
The next City Council meeting will be held April 16 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.