Give kids bicycles, and they'll stay out of trouble.
Midvale officials know it's not quite that simple, but they're hopeful something along those lines will work in their city.The City Council will vote tonight on two measures that would give birth to the Midvale Youth Bicycle Renovation Program. The program would provide any boy or girl, ages 12 to 16, a bicycle that needs a little work. Volunteers would then spend Friday nights, 7-9 p.m., helping the youths repair and customize the bikes. The city would provide the space, tools and parts. Off-duty police officers have also agreed to help out.
The program would be the first tangible result to emerge from the Midvale Community Mobilization Board, which formed a Neighborhood Action Coalition in February to get residents' help in solving the community's problems. The bicycle program is aimed at one of Midvale's woes - lack of activities for youth.
"We've asked the young people what they wanted to do and this is one of the ideas they brought forth," said Duane Olson, chairman of the board's Youth Activity Committee. "We have contacted the police department and they have some bikes they're going to give us."
A total of 14 bicycles have been collected so far, said board member and Councilwoman JoAnn Seg-hi-ni. Olson said the Boys and Girls Club of Midvale and Murray has also offered to donate bikes.
It is hoped more bikes, in any condition, would be donated before the program's scheduled start-up in May, Seghini said. Residents are being asked to include old bicycles or bicycle parts with other items they'll leave out for collection during the city's annual spring cleanup, which begins next week.
But before the program can move forward, the City Council must approve use of the old City Hall building and the donation of bikes from the police department. Both requests should be approved, Seghini predicted.
"We were looking to find something that kids can do on the weekend that is constructive besides hanging out and having nothing to do," Seghini said. "That's when kids get into trouble."
The youths who will reconstruct the bikes will be invited to ride in the city's Harvest Days Parade in August, Seghini said.
Eventually, Seghini said the program could be expanded to include youths who simply want to fix up their own bikes.