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Kingston to consider sex offender ordinance

Law would limit where those registered under Megan’s Law could reside.

KINGSTON — Efforts are under way to see if the municipality can restrict where registered child predators may live.

At Monday’s council meeting, Councilman John Schumacher made a motion to draw up an ordinance that would prohibit those registered under Megan’s Law from living within 1,500 feet of schools, playgrounds and other places where children gather.

Schumacher said there are eight offenders currently living in Kingston, and the ordinance would be modeled on one recently enacted by Wyoming Borough.

However, the rest of council felt more discussion was needed before passing it into law.

President Robert Thompson said the council had only first discussed the issue at the November work session and felt more research was needed.

Several members of the council were concerned that the ordinance could be challenged if it restricted offenders from living in most areas of the borough.

“We’re not going to bring the borough into a lawsuit over this,” Thompson said.

Councilwoman Sandra Kase agreed, saying the council “needs to discuss it in detail and review Wyoming’s ordinance and the maps first.”

Solicitor Harry Mattern said he was still unsure if the ordinance would be considered unconstitutional, since people have a right to live wherever they want to under the constitution. “It’s a very complicated issue,” Mattern said. “We owe it to the town to do a thorough research on this.”

Schumacher withdrew the motion and asked Mattern to prepare an ordinance to review at the work session.

Council decided to discuss the matter at this month’s work session before taking action.

In other matters, Administrator Paul Keating announced the municipality has been working with the Don Wilkinson Agency on fixing discrepancies in the earned income tax collected.

As of Nov. 30, the borough has $104,000 more than last year, the most since 2003, Keating said. He said the money will most likely be used towards a payment on the fire station.

Kingston has had issues with Wilkinson in the past, but Keating said since it notified the agency in September that the contract between the agency and the borough would not be automatically renewed, the agency has been working to improve its collection status.

In other business, council:

• Announced garbage stickers for 2007 will be $1.75 per sticker.

• Passed, then rescinded a motion to pass an ordinance creating two new alternate zoning board members. Mattern said passage was premature, as council needs to get approval to expand the board from other municipal and county committees before the ordinance can be enacted.

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