DANBURY TOWNSHIP -- An 87-year-old disabled man says he's fighting for his freedom as he's stuck in his home without a wheelchair ramp...and says he getting the runaround from Danbury Township.
Walter Kobak relies on a scooter or his wheelchair to get him from point A to point B. The only problem is, neither one of those is meant to go down steps.
Danbury Township officials had said that if he wanted the ramp, he'd have to pay a couple hundred dollars, which is money he didn't have and maybe didn't even need.
Two hundred dollars is what Kobak was told stood between him and his ability to go beyond the front porch of his Danbury Township home.
On July 19, Kobak and his daughter, Sharon, sent the township a permit request. They wanted to put in a ramp that would allow Walter to get in and out on his own.
But all didn't go as planned. A zoning inspector for the township denied the request, saying the family had to pay a $200 filing fee for a variance.
Township officials said the $200 filing fee was a matter of law.
But that isn't necessarily the case. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that the fee be waived in cases like Walter's.
But instead of complying, the zoning inspector gave the Kobak's the runaround, we're told, and never issued the proper approval for them to put in the ramp.
Walter was forced to rely on the police to take him down the stairs, costing the township money with each run.
After hearing about the hold up with the zoning committee, a Good Samaritan named Jody Victor paid Walter a visit, and came with a gift Victor gave Kobak $200 to pay the fee.
Channel 3 spoke with Danbury Township officials about Walter and the trouble he's been having. The vice president of the board, Charles Scott, said he was absolutely embarrassed about the situation.
Scott said he's proposing that the board waive that $200 fee and he's putting together a resolution that protects residents from this type of trouble in the future.