11-Year-Old’s Plea Leads To Neighborhood Safety Improvements
Feb 7, 2020, 10:22 PM | Updated: 10:26 pm
WEST POINT, Utah – Construction crews will begin work to reduce the grade of a steep section of sidewalk thanks to a new grant and a plea from an 11-year-old boy.
Two years ago, 11-year-old Kayl Beutler and his 8-year-old brother Jed Beutler were riding their scooters along 300 North when Jed crashed at the bottom of a hill.
“I was just coming back from school and I was on my scooter, and there’s a hill that goes straight and then it turns in to a curve,” said Jed, who was 8 years old at the time. “I was going down too fast and my wheel got stuck in dirt.”
Jed nearly cut his top lip off, tore some ligaments and had to get seven stitches after the crash.
Kayl wasn’t too far behind when his brother crashed.
“Yeah, I was pretty freaked out,” he said.
Not long after the crash, Kayl went to a city council meeting with his Boy Scout troop.
He decided to take that a step further and put out a plea during the open comment portion of the meeting.
“Yeah, super scary,” he said. “I had a quivering voice, and what made it worse is that the football team was there too.”
City officials said it was enough to grab their attention.
“It’s a great example and shows that their voice matters,” said city manager Kyle Laws. “With Kayl coming in, it kind of brought a fresh perspective on it. I think just kind of got us thinking about it again.”
Laws said the council had concerns about that stretch of sidewalk before Kayl’s comment but had not been successful in getting the funds to fix it.
But months later, the sidewalk will be changed thanks to a $75,000 community development block grant from Davis County.
Kayl’s mother, Danielle Beutler, said she was proud of her son for speaking up in a standing-room-only city council meeting.
“He had a speech prepared and he had pictures to show them and just kind of plead on his brother’s behalf,” she said. “It shows that you can try, that there’s no harm in trying, and that we need to try in order to make changes happen.”
Officials said concerns had existed for some time since another child was hurt at the same location a few years ago and was flown to Primary Children’s Hospital.
The plan is to bring down the sidewalk’s grade and have construction done by December.