ELYRIA — The Elyria Police Department’s trash will become the Elyria Bicycle Education Center’s treasure with the donation of dozens of bicycles to the nonprofit group.
Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said the Police Department has about 50 to 100 bikes that the city no longer needs.
“Some of the bikes are in good working condition and a lot are just bike parts and pieces,” she said. “I’m sure there is value to them for the group and what they do, but not us.”
Assistant Law Director Amanda Deery said the bicycles are of no use to the city and the donation would be to a nonprofit.
“Bike Elyria wants them, so we are not just forcing unwanted items to them,” Deery said Monday.
Normally, when items are unclaimed or forfeited, the city places them up for auction. In this case, it is donating the bikes so they can be used by the community.
“It’s difficult to put in words what this donation would mean to us,” said Ed Stewart, who started the bike center. “When we have bicycles to fix to either sell or give back to the community, they are not in good condition to start with, so we have to take parts from one bike to put on another bike. The more bikes we have, the more bikes we can put back into the community.”
The Elyria Bicycle Education Center is a business operated by Bike Elyria, a nonprofit that aims to make Elyria a more bicycle-friendly community.
Bike Elyria stemmed from a conversation between Brandon Rutherford, former director of Invest Elyria, and Stewart, founder of Silver Wheels Cycling Club. Invest Elyria promotes the community as a great place to live, work and raise a family, with a focus on the arts, food and commerce.
Stewart wanted to create an organization like Invest Elyria, but with a focus on bicycling. So far, the group, which started in January 2016, and the subsequent bike center, which opened five months ago, have had successes in the community.
“Many Elyria families and children have learned how to repair and maintain bicycles at our center,” Stewart said.
The bike center at 408 Middle Ave. is open 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.
An open house is set for noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 2.
In other news
- The Finance Committee voted to reduce the permit and inspection fees to Elyria Schools in conjunction with the school’s $140 million master plan project.
The district will construct five new schools and a new $14 million multi-sports athletic complex over the next five years. As a part of the building process, permit and inspection fees associated with the full scope of the project will be in the neighborhood of $500,000.
The city is offering the district a 20 percent discount.
Mayor Holly Brinda said the district is aiming to maximize the project’s budget and the city is a willing partner in that endeavor.
Finance Committee members unanimously voted to reduce the permit and inspection fees by 20 percent and waive the re-inspection fees.
It amounts to a savings of about $100,000 to the school district, Brinda said.
- Finance Committee members authorized a transfer from the Water Fund to the General Fund to cover work the Fire Department did to test city water lines and flush fire hydrants throughout the year.
A transfer of $350,370 covers the costs of the program for 2,748 fire hydrants at a cost of $127.50 per hydrant.
This transfer is made possible because of a 2009 city ordinance that authorizes the finance director to transfer funds from the water fund to the general fund for the service work. The work conducted included flushing sediment from water lines, oiling and greasing all moving parts and threads, and testing static water pressure and flow pressure.
Although on the books for many years, this is only the second time Council has authorized the transfer. The first was in 2015 at a cost of $255,000 to the general fund, which was used to help the city’s former health district stay afloat that year.