Iowa steel wheels issues persist

Dec 22, 2014 by

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An Old Order Mennonite group in Iowa is seeking meetings with Mitchell County officials to discuss the use of steel wheels as a lengthy legal ordeal returns to court.

Members of the Groffdale Conference Old Order Mennonite Church use steel wheels on tractors in an effort to promote community over individualism. In 2012, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that an ordinance barring vehicles from driving with steel wheels targeted a religious group too specifically.

At the time, church members said the ordinance not only violated their religious beliefs but also kept them from accessing their fields and markets.

The (Osage) Globe Gazette reported the local ordinance was later changed to comply with the higher court’s statement that the law unfairly targeted one kind of road damage rather than a broad range of equipment, such as school buses equipped with ice grips and tire studs year-round.

Discussion about steel wheels was renewed in recent months when sheriff’s deputies were instructed to watch for violators of a state law that still says no steel wheels are allowed on roads.

Daniel Zimmerman was issued a ticket in November. His case was scheduled to be heard Dec. 22 in Floyd County Magistrate Court after the case was moved from Mitchell County due to a conflict of interest.

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