The Best Inn Motel has had a controversial presence in New Paltz. On October 25, an email was sent to inform SUNY New Paltz students of the relocation of three sex offenders to the community. Two of the three sex offenders moved to what is now called the Best Inn Motel, previously known as Econo Lodge, where sex offenders living in New Paltz have stayed in the past.
Recently, seven mid to high level sex offenders moved into the Econo Lodge from October to November 2020. Outrage from students and members of the town of SUNY New Paltz prompted a local ordinance, known as Local Law 92, which required any motel owner to apply for a permit from sex offenders to occupy their premises. The law requires two separate licenses that cost $ 1,500 and $ 3,000, which is described as “an arbitrarily derived fee”, for sex offenders to be allowed to live at a site. The law would limit the number of sex offenders allowed to reside at a particular address by using a formula based on the three levels of sex offender risk.
In response to the law, Econo Lodge owner Shree Granesh LLC, a travel accommodation company, filed a lawsuit against the town of New Paltz. The lawsuit claims: “[New Paltz’s] attempting to enforce local law 92, as stated here, is an unconstitutional exercise of authority, ”because it violates four New York State laws relating to sex offenders.
As former University Police Chief Mary Ritayik said The oracle in November 2020, there is “an agreement between the State of New York and the Econo Lodge to house these offenders”, which refers to an agreement of more than 15 years that the owner of the Econo Lodge has with the Ulster County Social Services Department, which is said to have started in 2005, for home registered sex offenders at the motel in return for compensation from Ulster County.
Close to SUNY New Paltz are New Paltz High School and New Paltz Middle School, all located about a five-minute drive from the Best Inn Motel. Unfortunately, there is no simple “yes” or “no” answer to whether sex offenders can live near a school. After jail, there are few places for sex offenders to live, with many state laws prohibiting offenders from living 300 meters from places where children congregate, such as schools, parks, swimming pools. , etc. In New York State, level 3 registered sex offenders are prohibited from “knowingly entering” daycares and schoolyards, which the courts have interpreted to mean these offenders cannot. live within 1000 feet of a school. Level 1 and 2 sex offenders, however, are only allowed to stay in residence within 1,000 feet during their parole and probation, not after probation and parole have been lifted. Residence laws often destabilize sex offenders, forcing them to congregate in areas suitable for them, like the Best Inn Motel. The two sex offenders at the Best Inn Motel are placed at risk level 2.
A final decision on the lawsuit was not made in court as assistant to New Paltz City Supervisor Kathy Preston said The oracle, “The trial is still pending, so it cannot be started or executed until a decision is rendered by the courts. To be clear, the law as proposed does not completely eliminate housing for sex offenders, but only limits the number who can reside in one place at a time.
No information is currently known on the motel name change. The owner of the Best Inn Motel declined to comment in time for the article.
New Paltz City Police choose to notify SUNY New Paltz of sex offenders in the area as this is considered a “[entity] with vulnerable populations linked to the nature of the offense. University Police Chief Michael Corbisiero said, “Here at University Police, we are broadcasting these messages to inform all members of the SUNY New Paltz community for safety reasons as the safety of all our students, our staff and visitors is our primary responsibility. ” Chief Corbisiero reminds students of a safety message, emailed to all students on August 26, on how to stay safe while walking around New Paltz campus and town, as well as in residences.
Many students remain outraged by the move of sex offenders to New Paltz. Freshman Jadyn Acosta said The oracle, “I believe that sex offenders should not be allowed to reconcile. Their accusations are honestly disgusting and they shouldn’t have been allowed back into society. Sex offenders are crazy, and the fact that they have levels baffles me. When I was on the phone with the policeman who helped me look at the full list of people, he told me that he immediately recognized one of the names because of his multiple crimes.
As a reminder to all students, the UPD phone number is 845-257-2222 from a cell phone and 2222 or 911 from any phone on campus.