Bees were the buzz at Wednesday’s regular meeting of the Fairbury City Council.
The group voted to allow Cindy and Kelly Kinate to have bees on their property even though an ordinance change made in the past year states otherwise. The city was approached about allowing bees in 2016 and there was no ordinance then to say bees weren’t allowed. The Kinates went ahead and put their bees in since there were no rules against it.
“Now, they’re coming back to us saying at the time, we came in and asked, you kind of gave us approval and now you’re telling us we can’t have them,” said Mayor David Slagel.
This new ruling grandfathers in the Kinate’s residence to allow the bees as long as they keep and maintain them.
A complaint had reportedly been filed, prompting the city to send a letter.
“We were unaware of the ordinance change,” said Cindy Kinate in an e-mail to council members. “We also believe that the complainant was a neighbor across the street who has since moved out of the city.”
Kinate noted neighbors appreciate the pollination provided by the bees and many residents enjoy the local honey available at retailers such as Dave’s and Ace Hardware.
During the public comment portion of the meeting, Fairbury resident Dave Shepherd thanked the city for handling the nuisance dog issue next door to his home.
“It’s nice to be able to sit in the back yard and not deal with it,” he said.
Fire Chief Martin Steidinger noted the department packs just came in and Prairie Central Cooperative donated $5,000 with more donations possible. Steidinger also reminded the group of the recycling day on Saturday (June 20) starting at 9 a.m. He said anyone can help at the event.
City Superintendent Brett Ashburn reported the swimming pool is close to being ready for the season and should be good to go for next weekend. The plan is to open the pool for Fairbury residents only Monday through Saturday and the general public on Sundays.
“Everybody is excited for this,” said Ashburn.
A bid was authorized from McLean County Asphalt for seal coating work as a part of the MFP project. Areas across town to be worked on include the west end of Maple, Ash Street and Willow. This will entail 16 blocks.
Mayor Slagel publicly thanked the Fairbury Area Chamber of Commerce for their assistance in paying for half of the materials for new picnic tables. He also thanked Leman Builders, Slagel Manufacturing and the others who helped.
In other matters the Fairbury City Council:
-Approved a request from Gig’s Place to host a band July 3 from 4 p.m. to midnight for a street dance.
-Granted permission for Crazy Crain’s to hold a music fest July 25 starting at 8 p.m.
-Authorized an ordinance changing the zoning class on west Pine Street from R2 to Commercial.
-Approved the consent agenda, including June 3 minutes, check register, voucher invoice report and a sidewalk request on west Elm St. for $638.75.