In a move that was considered to be a thought constructed outside of the box, the Colonie Town Board voted unanimously to approve a law that would require hotel or motel owners who house sex offenders to pay an annual licensing fee as well as restrict the number of registered sex offenders that can live in a hotel or motel at a Town Board meeting Thursday, Aug. 6.
The fee associated with the license depends on the number of units at the establishment: for an establishment with 50 units or fewer, the licensing fee would be $1,500 per year and for an establishment with 51 or more units, the fee would be $3,000 per year.
The fees for the license are only a fraction of what the hotel and motel owners who make a business out of taking sex offenders make in one month, according to Town Attorney Michael Magguilli, who said that Albany County pays $45 per day to the establishments who take sex offenders.
The second part of the law involves limiting the number of sex offenders that can live at each establishment based on a points system. The sex offenders are given a number of points based on the level of their offenses as assigned by their sentencing judges.
For instance, a Level 1 sex offender would carry with them one point; a Level 2, two points; and a Level 3, three points.
An establishment that has 50 or fewer units would be allowed six points of sex offenders and are able to divide that however they choose, whether it be six Level 1 offenders, three Level 2 offenders, two Level 3 offenders, or some other combination.
An establishment with 51 units is permitted to have nine points of sex offenders.
Town officials have been looking into enacting a more defined sex offender law this past year since the sex offender population has doubled to more than 150. They were also looking for a way to spread out the sex offenders from the over concentration that currently exists on the western part of town, primarily on Central Avenue.