By Nicole Brodzik
During their March 14 meeting, the Mound City Council voted to approve an ordinance that would limit how close to playgrounds, school and parks level sex offenders can live. Level three offenders are those people who have been deemed very likely to offend again.
“Similar ordinances enacted by neighboring cities,” Community Development Director Sarah Smith said. “Orono adopted a new ordinance addressing concerns of level three folks, specifically with regards to school, parks and playgrounds.”
Orono passed their ordinance in January which limited level three offenders from living within a 2,000 foot radius of any school, day care center, park or playground. Mound’s new ordinance has the same restrictions.
The intent of the ordinance, according to the amendment is to “promote, protect and improve the healthy, safety and welfare of citizens by establishing areas around locations where children regularly congregate in concentrated numbers…”
The ordinance does not apply to level one and level two offenders, or those who have a low or moderate risk of re offending, as those offenses are not made known to the public.
If a level three offender did not obey this new ordinance, that would result in a misdemeanor offense, but not removal from his or her home.
Smith said the staff recommended the board approve the motion and explained that they would not need a public hearing. The council then voted unanimously to approve the motion.
State Senator Dave Osmek also stopped in to give an update to the Mound City Council. He said the state legislature is in the middle of creating their budget for the state and that he’s working to push forward a Metropolitan Council review bill that he coauthored.
“We hope the governor will take this seriously and make some changes,” Osmek said.
He said the bill would make Met Council members elected officials, with one from each county.
“If governor doesn’t want this, we’ll write up a bill, send it to his office and watch him veto it,” he said. “It’s important to do this because it’s time we do something about the Met Council.”
Osmek also mentioned that he is considering a run at the governor’s seat in the 2018 election.
“I’m considering running for a different office in 2018,” he said. “I enjoy being your senator, but if someone wants to make me governor, so be it.”
The next Mound City Council meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m.