Young Iola Residents Push for Chickens

Iola, Kansas resident Levi Ewes is extending an invitation to reside in the city of Iola. But not to humans.

“The chickens. The chickens are really nice to me,” said Meiwes.

As part of a 4-H leadership project, Meiwes and his best friend Jacob Reibel are campaigning to allow residents to keep chickens within city limits.

The current city ordinance only allows those who live in the country to keep the birds, something Meiwes and Riebel feel deprives locals.

“I at home raise chickens and ducks and find them very beneficial and educational and I’d like other people in the city to experience that too,” said Jacob Riebel.

The young men first gave a detailed presentation for city council on January 27th, outlining proposed ordinance guidelines and regulations.

Iola code enforcement officer Shonda Jeffries worked with Meiwes and Riebel to put together the preliminary ordinance.

“The council then requested a bit more teeth to the ordinance,” said Jeffries.

On Monday, Jeffries took back a revised ordinance to the council. Due to various proposals, the city decided to table the motion again until the next meeting.

As they push ahead, both Meiwes and Reibel feel confident in their efforts.

“I think I have most of the council votes,” said Meiwes.

“We do have a lot of support for the hens in town,” said Jeffries.

But some residents feel the hens should stay where they currently lay: in the country.

“We don’t need chickens in town,” said Earl Bell.