Altoona council to take up honeybee, e-cigarette bans

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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- The City of Altoona wants to hear from you when it comes to beekeeping in the city.

Thursday night city leaders were slated to vote on an ordinance regulating how bees can be kept in the city, but instead that vote took a dramatic turn.

The council put the idea of regulating bees in the city limits on hold; opting instead for a future vote on banning beekeeping in the city.

During the meeting, several council members expressed their concerns over keeping bees in an urban setting -- citing concerns over severe allergic reactions to bee stings.

Council members also said if bees were in city limits they would like to see more neighbor input. The original ordinance required beekeepers to get approval from 50% of their neighbors in order to have a hive.

"I wouldn't want my back yard infested with bees if I wasn't comfortable," councilperson Brendan Pratt said.

"It's like chickens, if you want to have chickens or bees go out to the country that's my opinion," councilperson Andrew Schlafer said.

The city council could take up the proposed ordinance to ban honeybees in city limits at its next meeting on April 23rd. There will be a public comment period during that meeting.

We reached out to Eau Claire's beekeeping group, Save the Bees Eau Claire, for comment on that upcoming vote. They have not returned our call.

Along with that vote on honeybees, The City of Altoona will also take up an ordinance on e-cigarettes.

Right now the city does not have any rules when it comes to vaping.

At its an upcoming meeting the city will vote on an ordinance banning e-cigarette use in places where cigarettes are prohibited.

Other cities like Eau Claire have already banned use of e-cigarettes from city buildings and busses.



 
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