Westlake's sex offender fee ordinance to take effect in January

By By Lance Traweek / American Press

The Westlake City Council is one of several local government entities to recently raise fees for residents who are registered

sex offenders.

In March, councilwoman Lori Manuel

introduced an ordinance raising the sex offender registration fee to

$400 for initial registration

in Westlake — a 567 percent increase from the original $60 fee.

It will apply to newly convicted sex offenders and sex offenders who move to Westlake. There will be a $100 renewal fee each

year.

The council unanimously adopted the ordinance in April. On the advice of the city’s legal counsel, the ordinance will not

take effect until January.

Lake Charles, Sulphur and Allen Parish have taken similar measures.

Manuel said the ordinance was passed to be more consistent with the other communities in the area.

“It shows the citizens of Westlake we are being proactive to protect our citizens,” she said.

The money collected will go into the city’s operating budget.

A person who fails to register will be

subject to a fine of up to $1,000 for a first violation and up to $3,000

for each subsequent

violation.

An offender who registers but fails to pay the annual fee will be fined $500.