At a special called meeting via Zoom on March 21, the Alexander County Board of Commissioners adopted a Child Safety Zone ordinance with the purpose of keeping children safe in public spaces. The ordinance amends the county code to include “Prohibition of Convicted Child Sex Offenders in Child Safety Zones.”
The ordinance was first introduced at the March 7th meeting by Sheriff Chris Bowman and Detectives Buddy McKinney and Dennis Foster. The ordinance could not be approved at the first reading as it imposes a criminal penalty.
Sheriff Bowman said he received a call several months ago from a concerned parent regarding a convicted child sex offender parking at school bus stops. McKinney and Foster started investigating the matter and discovered that the state statute doesn’t include bus stops in the “sex offender unlawfully on premises” section.
The new Child Safety Zone ordinance prohibits convicted child sex offenders from being within 300 feet of a park, public library, school site, or camp. A school site includes the buildings and grounds of any school or childcare facility as well as all school bus stops, including activity buses.
With the new ordinance in effect, law enforcement can require a suspected sex offender to provide his/her name, address, and phone number to determine if the person is a convicted child sex offender. If so, the officer shall notify the offender that he/she is in violation of the Child Safety Zone ordinance and could be charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor with a fine of $500 or less.
In other business, commissioners approved a resolution authorizing the sale of an approximately 3-acre parcel of land on Liberty Lane in Taylorsville. The sale will be conducted through a sealed bid process as authorized by NCGS §160A-270. The bid deadline is April 22, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. For more details, visit https://alexandercountync.gov/notice-of-sale-of-real-property-by-sealed-bid.
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners typically meets on the first Monday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in room #103 at the CVCC Alexander Center for Education. The next regular meeting is set for Monday, April 4 at 6:00 p.m. Regular meetings are recorded, and can be viewed on the county’s Government Channel on Spectrum channel 192 or on the county’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/alexandercountync. Meeting agendas, minutes, videos, and more are available on the county’s website at https://alexandercountync.gov/commissioners.