September 23, 2008

Council Expected to Vote on Sex Offender Restrictions

By Kathy Kellogg

The Olean Common Council is expected to vote Tuesday on a local law establishing a local registry and residency prohibitions for most convicted child sex offenders.

Anyone over 18 who has been convicted of any sexual offense on a child under the age of 16 will have to register and will be barred from living within 1,000 feet of a school, park, playground or day care center. The information also will be available to the public.

Residency exceptions will apply to offenders who are assigned a place to live as part of a closely supervised release, or if the offender already was living within the prohibited area prior to the law's passage.

If offenders do not comply, Olean police will give them a written warning to conform to the rules within 30 days or face a possible 15- day jail sentence and a fine up to $1,500.

The Council also is expected to be sent legislation from the Committee of the Whole for the transfer of about $104,000 in contingency funds to pay for two projects related to public safety and sanitation.

The first proposal would take $30,000 from the general contingency fund to supplement $30,000 remaining in the demolition account to raze fire-damaged homes at 125 S. Second St. and 210 Front St.

The work had been estimated at $60,000. If the resolution is adopted, low bidder LaForge Disposal Services will be awarded a 10- day contract to complete the work based on an offer of $57,312.

A second transfer proposal would shift $74,025 from the sewer contingency fund to pay for emergency replacement of a collapsed sanitary along three blocks of South Third Street.

The full extent of that problem came to light in August when crews were replacing a water line in the area. According to Public Works Director Tom Windus, the sanitary sewer had been split into two lines many years ago and both lines had collapsed. Crews replaced lateral connections and corrected ponding problems.

Also on the Council's Tuesday night agenda is a resolution finalizing a partnership agreement for the city's operation of the Olean Area Transit System, estimated to cost about $181,000 a year to operate.

If adopted, the agreement places the city in the driver's seat as sponsor of the OATS operations and administration of funds from several sources.

They include $52,000 from St. Bonaventure University in eight monthly installments, $30,000 from the Cattaraugus County Department of Social Services if a measure is approved Wednesday by the County Legislature and additional capital grant funds from the state Department of Transportation.

Originally published by CATTARAUGUS CORRESPONDENT.

(c) 2008 Buffalo News. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.