BOZEMAN - The City of Bozeman delivered notices to those who are parked on city property as it prepares for street cleaning operations.
“It’s something that’s been a growing issue in our community, especially over the last year and this effort is to keep our public infrastructure safe and good for everyone and to support the folks who are living in those campers and RVs and keeping the spaces clean as well,” said City of Bozeman Interim Communications and Engagement Manager Dani Hess.
Hess says people living in campers and RVs on streets across the city has prevented them from doing street and sewer maintenance.
“What you might be noticing around town is RVs and campers that have been parked in city streets and public right of way have been moving around the last few weeks and part of the reason for that is street cleaning efforts in some of those areas that we haven’t been able to get to since they have been occupied by folks who are living in their vehicles,” Hess said.
Hess says a court ruling that came down from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that homeless people cannot be punished. The court’s jurisdiction includes Montana.
“Our intent is to not force people to relocate; we understand that it’s a challenge to find stable housing in this town and we respect the situation of everyone,” said Hess.
When MTN News drove to locations such as Map Brewing, WinCo, and Target which are normally filled with parked vehicles, they sat empty. A sign was posted near Manley Road to notify of work that was scheduled for last week.
“It’s just like every street cleaning effort in that we just ask people move their vehicles for the day that the work and the maintenance is occurring. We haven’t been directing them to a different part of town other than the warming center if they have no place to go, but we're not directing them to go anywhere specifically, just that we need them to not be in the area where the work is occurring,” said Hess.
Hess says that once the work is done, people are allowed to return.