Wesley Chapel takes steps for safety
The village of Wesley Chapel wants to get a few rules in place before opening their new park. During their Monday, July 11 meeting, the town council unanimously voted to approve a new ordinance, banning sex offenders from the premises.
Council member Kim Ormiston sees this as a step in the right direction, as Wesley Chapel begins to move forward with it’s plans to open their first park.
“The ordinance is purely preemptive,” Ormiston stressed. “We want to ensure that our public areas, especially our parks, are safe from predators.”
The ordinance states that, “the Mayor, Town Council members and Staff find it in the best interest of the citizens and residents of the Village of Wesley Chapel to prohibit and ban Registered Sex Offenders from the Village of Wesley Chapel park and other recreation facilities.”
The ordinance goes on to say, that each violation is punishable by “a fine of five hundred dollars and/or incarceration for up to thirty days.”
“The intent of the ordinance,” Ormiston continued, “is to provide a recourse against sexual predators. While there are already State and Federal laws in place for sexual offenders, it is ultimately up to each municipality, to add on or adopt the regulations.”
Replacements and upcoming hearings
The rest of the meeting was a bit more low key, fellow council member Sondra Bradford said.
The council appointed Sandy Bush as chairman for the planning board. Bush, a long standing member of the board, will replace Chuck Adams, who is stepping down to pursue other interests.
“Also of note,” Bradford said. “Is the August 4 public forum, being held at the Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church. This is when the general public, will be able to voice their input on the design of the new town hall. We always value the input of our community.” Bradford said.