City Council/Redevelopment Agency Minutes
April 13, 1999                                                                                                                                Page 6
REPORT ON SPIRIT POLES STRUCTURAL INVESTIGATION

Motion was made by Allen and seconded by McManigal to declare that an emergency situation exists and that the need to take action arose within 72 hours of the meeting. Motion passed by unanimous vote of the Council, thereby allowing the City Council to consider and take necessary action concerning the spirit poles structural investigation.

The Director of Maintenance Services presented a detailed report, stating that a spirit pole fell on February 9 and that a subsequent inspection by City staff found severe cracks in other poles. Staff proceeded to remove 9 of the 91 spirit poles because they were unsafe. Mike Vogan said that the report prepared by Degenkolb Engineering for the City states that 41 of the aluminum poles are considered high-risk, suffering from stress fatigue and vibrating in low-speed winds. The remaining poles, although low risk now, will eventually suffer the same stress fatigue. He concluded that both the artist and the architectural firm were sent copies of the consultant's report and are expected to respond by April 21, 1999.

Kevin Moore, Degenkolb Engineers, addressed the City Council and answered questions regarding the information contained in the report.  Resident Deborah Heinzmann suggested that the poles would be more appropriately located in an industrial area of the City.

City Attorney Rick Doyle discussed the City's contractual relationship with the artist of the spirit poles, the City's use of police power in matters of public safety, and the possibility of liability exposure.  He concluded by saying that the artist, Gary Rieveschl, and architectural firm, EDAW, should be given until the following Monday to review and respond to the Degenkolb report so that the artist can indicate if he wishes to retrofit the poles at his own expense.

Following discussion in which Councilmembers expressed concern for public safety, motion was made by McManigal and seconded by Peterson to remove immediately all the spirit poles (all of which were designated as "high risk" or "low risk" by the consultant) and to place them in storage until further notice.

Motion passed by unanimous vote of the Council.

The City Manager stated that removal of the poles would begin the next morning. Motion was made by McManigal and seconded by Hoffmeister to request staff to present a status report at the City Council meeting of April 27, 1999. Motion passed by unanimous vote of the Council.

http://www.ci.concord.ca.us/citygov/agendas/council/minutes/1999/04-13-99.pdf