If you are hanging around the village of Scotia and you're under 18, you better be off the streets by midnight Friday and Saturday, and 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
A law passed Wednesday, Aug. 9, at the village board meeting, says those caught breaking the curfew could be taken into custody by police and may receive a fine of up to $250.
Chief of Police John Pytlovany said the law is the result of an increase of vandalism and trash found on Mohawk Avenue. Pytlovany said teenagers have been responsible for overturned garbage cans and spray paint on public property in the village, specifically along Mohawk Avenue.
The law was introduced in the spring, and we didn't have a meeting last month, therefore it wasn't passed, and we really needed it going into this summer. We are hoping to have this in place for the remainder of the summer. If not, we are really losing out on the benefit of the law, said Pytlovany.
The board did pass the law with trustee Carol Carpenter abstaining. Carpenter voiced concern about whether the village had publicized the curfew enough.
"I am uncomfortable with how much this had been in the public. I don't have a problem with the law, but I don't feel we have had it out there, promoting awareness about the law," said Carpenter.
Public Works Superintendent Tom Cushing said that, along with the litter and vandalism, there have been three instances of teens pulling up flowers in the park, causing additional work for his department.
"This is a tool that the police department needs. We think it will make a significant difference," said Cushing.
The law is set to go into effect immediately and will have certain exceptions, such as employment-related travel, school events or accompaniment of a parent or guardian. Those under 16 will be taken to the police station where their parents will be called to pick them up, while minors 16 to 17 years old will be taken into custody and face a fine. The fines will range between $50 and $250, depending on the frequency of convictions.
"It's not the answer that will solve all the problems, but it's a step in the right direction," said trustee Kris Kastberg.