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Business group in Bozeman demands that laws pertaining to homeless campers be upheld



Bozeman, Montana – In a statement published on Tuesday, the Bozeman District of the Gallatin Valley Tourism and Business Improvement District urged the city to be more stringent in enforcing regulations regarding homeless campers.

The Homeward Point homeless shelter will be open 24/7/365 thanks to a $1 million match granted by the TBID in the spring. However, they now claim that more has to be done to address this issue because it is beginning to negatively impact businesses.

The CEO of the TBID, Daryl Schliem, stated that the organization’s membership of hoteliers is suffering as a result of the slack enforcement of public health and safety regulations. In order to begin covering the cost of a security officer, one hotel had to hike fees.

The group is requesting that the city enforce codes pertaining to the following rather than passing further ordinances:

• Drug use in public
• Public intoxication
• Public urination
• Theft of electricity and water from private businesses
• Littering
• Disorderly conduct
• Trespassing on private property

“We don’t give somebody a break downtown. If they’re parked 2 hours, we’ll ticket them if they’re in shopping someplace, you know, if we’re going to have laws, we should have laws for all,” Schliem said. “We’re not trying to punish anybody. All we’re asking that all citizens of the city them are to Bozeman, Montana, follow the rules and regulations equally. And I think you’ll see a much better place for Bozeman to get back to.”

The TBID is requesting that the city manager, city attorney, and municipal commission resign if they are unable to uphold these regulations.

Mayor Cyndy Andrus was contacted by NonStop Local to provide her thoughts on the letter.

“I recognize that they put $1 million into the project with the HRDC. I think it’s important to note that a couple years ago I asked the TBID to put money into infrastructure to help with our infrastructure issues and they flat out refused to do it,” she said. “I think it’s time that they stop over-promoting Bozeman and they start putting that money into building this community.

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