Wellman City Council considers residential beekeeping


Wellman’s honeybee ordinance was up for discussion at the Wellman City Council’s regular meeting on August 1.  As it stands, the City’s ordinance does not allow for honeybees to be kept in areas zoned residential.  However, a resident requested the council consider amending the ordinance. 

The resident is interested in starting one or two beehives with the intention of practicing beekeeping and harvesting honey for personal use.  Although opinions differed, most members of the council appeared open to amending the ordinance.  The City Administrator will investigate other cities’ honeybee ordinances as models for how Wellman’s ordinance might be amended.

The City of Wellman would like to offer downtown improvement grants to encourage businesses to occupy and improve downtown spaces.  The grants would be funded by local option sales tax, now that the City has paid down its debt and has funds available. 

City Administrator Kelly Litwiller proposed starting the program with $50,000 in funds to be granted on a first come, first serve basis.  Individual grants would be issued up to $10,000, to be matched 50/50 with the recipient’s own funds.  The council discussed the idea, and agreed that Litwiller should draw up an agreement for the approval of council.

The Starbeck/Miller building in downtown Wellman was also a topic of discussion.  The city-owned building was considered for demolition; however, a businessperson has expressed strong interest in rehabilitating the building with help from the State of Iowa’s Community Catalyst Building Remediation grant program. 

In order to receive the grant, the City would have to own the building through the rehabilitation process, after which it would turn it over to the business.  Because the revitalized building would benefit the City, the City has an interest in the business winning the Catalyst grant.  As a result, the City Council made a motion to commit $100,000 toward the building’s rehabilitation, contingent on the business receiving the Catalyst grant.  After much debate, the motion was approved.


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