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Man calls Bozeman's snow removal ordinance discriminatory, sues city

Snow sidewalks.jpg
Posted at 5:00 PM, Mar 13, 2023

A man is suing the City of Bozeman over its snow removal ordinance saying they are discriminatory towards disabled people.

“It's impossible to come by even for people without disabilities and certainly anybody with a disability can't comply,” said Robert Kolesar, who filed the lawsuit against the city.

Kolesar filed the suit with the Montana Human Rights Network.

“Anybody who's had any experience walking around the City of Bozeman understands that that standard is rarely complied with,” said Kolesar.

A spokesperson for the City says that the City’s Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case but won’t comment on ongoing litigation.

According to the city’s code, all snow and ice should be removed from sidewalks within the first 24 hours of any snow or ice deposit.

“My wife’s properties were ticketed this winter,” said Kolesar.

Kolesar says even with his mobility issues, he purchased a snow remover but he still needs help to clean the snow off.

“We'll do a little bit around here but with my situation, I had surgery this winter. My rotator cuffs torn up, I got a separated bicep,” said Kolesar. “The overall snow removal process and we really need to hire somebody to do it. Particularly when it comes to the city sidewalks. It's way more work than I can do and my wife is seriously disabled.”

Kolesar says he hopes to get out of the lawsuit.

“City should reasonably accommodate people with disabilities who are otherwise unable to find contractors on their own,” said Kolesar.