Meeting Minutes

June 27, 2013

Indianola Port District



Special Meeting Minutes- June 27, 2012 (Continued)




A. REVIEW OF CHE SITE-VISIT LETTER AND BACKGROUND(cont’d)A complete pile assessment on the Indianola Dock was performed and recently completed. The engineering firm, CHE, was contracted with to perform an assessment of the Dock based on the data supplied by the Port of Indianola and technical information from PND Engineers and to create a plan for short-term strategies to maintain the safe structural integrity and public usage of the Dock. CHE was also instructed to develop options for long-range plans maintaining the safe usage and structural integrity of the existing structure and any other long-range options if maintaining the existing structure is either fiscally impractical and/or structurally not feasible.

CHE has stated that most piles appear to be original. The inshore piles are most compromised. The Pile caps appear to have been replaced at or near the same time in the past and only those that have exposed upper parts are compromised. Stationery/static vertical load is acceptable but can be affected detrimentally by motion. Lateral stability is the primary concern as lateral swaying is judged, preliminarily, by CHE to present as a public safety issue as a relatively small number of people could cause the dock to sway to a dangerous degree affecting structural integrity.

The short-term concern focuses on limiting numbers of people using the dock and inhibiting activity on the dock that would promote swaying of the dock to excessive degrees until strategies can be developed to eliminate these risks.

The Long-term concerns a portion of the planning document generated by CHE to consider strategies ranging from replacing existing compromised creosote piles with metal piling and repairing and maintaining the dock structure over extended period of time to the consideration, if necessary, of complete replacement of the existing dock with a new structure. Cost estimates, along with other considerations, of all potential plans will be included in the document.

The immediate concerns discussed were:

Safety issues:

*The POI cannot monitor and effectively restrict amount of people using the Dock

*The POI cannot monitor and effectively restrict people from behavior that could result in excessive and unsafe swaying of the Dock

*The POI cannot monitor and effectively clear the Dock during unsafe weather/sea conditions during which the Dock would be most vulnerable to damage.

Comm. Henderson stated that during the special meeting of June 17th resolution 2013-4 was pass to contract with CHE to assess the data provided by the POI and create an engineering assessment and plan to correct short term structural and safety issues with the Dock and to develop long-range options for the POI to consider for the continued safe use and function of the Dock.



*Gordon Hempton asked if legal counsel had been sought for an opinion. Comm. Frank confirmed that Atty. Phil Best had been consulted with regarding the current procedure to close the Dock for public safety reasons.

*Dennis Kilpatrick stated barriers can cause more danger if people get injured trying to get over them. Why not just say danger is being assessed? Comm. Frank said signs may not be enough to deter people from getting on the Dock.

Comm. Henderson agreed, particularly for the July 6 fireworks, saying the Port has a duty to try to protect anyone who goes out on the dock. Mr. Kilpatrick also asked if a security guard will be on patrol the 6th. Dave Haley, the IBIC rep. for security for the IBIC and POI said there will be security for the 6th who can call 911 but not but his ‘hands on people’.

*Bob Kinnaird recommended that the Port hire a real police officer on the 6th as ‘cheap insurance’.

POI Special Meeting Minutes; June 27, 2013 cont’d



*Susan Hancock asked if the dock is closed now, how long will it be closed? How will it be replaced/[repaired]? She mentioned her involvement in a dock replacement at Girl Scout camp. Comm. Frank stated there are many options that will be considered, two of which could be replacing all the Dock piles over a long period of time or total replacement of dock with a new structure. She said grants tend toward 100% replacement over a short period of time. Comm. Henderson said the contract with CHE includes assessment, prioritization, costs, short term strategy

and long-term options. Comm. Frank stated there are going to be different funding concerns with each option and that a new dock, would present with a smaller footprint, less piles and no creosote.

*Richard Linzer asked what the purpose of the meeting was. He asked if the Port was asking for ideas or has POI already made a decision. Comm. Frank said a decision has not been made but, all information is channeling the Port toward one option. We may need to close the dock temporarily. Mr. Linzer asked how the community could be helpful as there appears to be a ‘clear and present danger’.

*Dick Hale stated the short-term safety is the issue for tonight. What if we closed the dock on the 4th & 6th and posted volunteer security and posted ‘use at you own risk’ signs? Then we can decide long-term items in the future. Dick volunteered to be a security monitor. Comm. Frank said this plan does not address monitoring at times other than on the 4th and 6th when there may be spontaneous or unplanned large crowds and behavior that may be detrimental to the dock, such as intentional swaying, could not be monitored and restricted at all times. Dick said he tried to shake the dock and it only moves on the highest section before the cross bracing. Could we cross brace there? Do we need permission? Comm. Henderson said he asked CHE about cross bracing. The engineer said he did not believe that would take care of the lateral swaying.

*Steve Linger said we have an open float for boaters, so do we need to remove the float, too? He also stated we need to have a meeting before Indianola Days because the dock has maximum people during that time. Comm. Henderson stated there would be no data from CHE until the July 23rd meeting. Mr. Linger asked that insurance reps and a lawyer be present at the July 23rd meeting.

*Dan Butler asked does CHE have a division bidding for the work? Comm. Henderson said No. Dan asked about the Indianola Days closure. He said we’ve had the dock open in past Indianola Days with no problem, so why close it now? The hammer and listening method is non-scientific. Comm. Frank stated to err on the side of caution has been the recommendation. The dock has been closed down for long periods due to safety reasons in the past. We have been made aware by professionals that the dock has safety issues that present a risk to public safety.

*Dave Haley say there are two main issues: 1. Immediate: close the dock because swaying is observed. 2. Long-term (July 23rd meeting): how to handle the long term. Also, what about an occupancy limit? Sign vs. barrier? If there is a sign anyone who passes it will be trespassing. For July 6th there is only one officer on duty but, we can ask for a second and they can enforce closure of the dock.

*Susan Henry asked about getting a second opinion.

*Connie Reckord said she wasn’t sure a second structural engineer would contradict the finding. Engineers are conservative and want to make us aware of danger. Suggest focusing closure on times like the 4th and the 6th. Comm. Henderson said the POI also needs to consult with the insurance company (Enduris) regarding risks.

*Sandra Bauer stated ‘enter at own risk’ is not sufficient language. Kids and teens can’t make informed decisions and says the Port needs to close the dock until it is considered safe. She asked had insurance been told yet? She bets they will close the dock and this will be a moot discussion.

*Pam Perry said you can’t limit the conversation to the people in the room. It is heartbreaking to those who couldn’t say ‘goodbye’ to the dock.

*Connie Aurand: Letter is in black and white—the dock has been deemed unsafe. We should not put citizens at risk. She suggests closing, signage and removing float. Are IBIC members liable if someone gets hurt? Comm. Henderson stated the answer is no since the dock is POI property.

*Gordon Hallgren commented about the question of safety underneath the dock. Comm. Henderson said a large moving load on the dock was characterized as unsafe. Comm. Frank stated that a small number of people intentionally swaying the dock could cause damage to the dock and potentially cause injury. She added that the Port is responsible for the safety of those who use the dock.


POI Special Meeting Minutes; June 27, 2013 cont’d




*Terry Reckord asked if anyone asked the opinion of the firm who worked on the dock recently? PND Engineers. Comm. Henderson said that they have not been consulted as they only worked on the deck, railings, stringers and post caps, not focusing on the structural integrity of the piles. Mr. Reckford stated the review by CHE is subjective. Comm. Frank said CHE’s method for their preliminary assessment followed a standard process. Mr. Reckford asked if borings of pilings were done. The response was no. The standard is to assess the piles as done and then at a next stage of assessment bore nor more than 1% of the assessed piles.

*Art Langlie stated there were no data points in the letter from CHE. He said the dock is significant to Indianola. He asked for a peer review of the engineer. He said CHE did the POI a great disservice. Sway is not an indication of failure citing skyscrapers that sway in Seattle. Comm. Henderson clarified that there was a difference between marine dock structures and skyscrapers. Mr. Langlie called for a second review.

*Annie Linzer says the dock has always swayed. This is not news. She said that lots of our pilings have been replaced. We may need a second assessment. Comm. Frank stated the engineer has a different perspective determining that a large number of the piles are original and some of those that are not are compromised. She cited the Harper Pier challenges that faced the Port of Bremerton as a comparison to the Indianola dock in terms of age and structural composition. 

*An unidentified participant said that there are more people on the 4th and 6th and Indianola Days and suggests that signs and closure on those occasions with increased security occur. Then the POI can do more on the 23rd if it is warranted. It is too abrupt to make a closure decision tonight. If we close the dock, do we tell the greater community through the Sun newspaper, she asks. Comm. Frank stated the POI will make an announcement if the is temporarily closed.

Gordon Hempton stated that, without borings, CHE’s letter is only an opinion. The said CHE should bore piles that CHE says sound bad. Connie Reckord added that she and a geotech engineer looked at a bridge abutment with 19 piles bored. If certain piles were partial, they were determined to be okay.

Joe Brazeau says that those who work for the ferry, as he had, know that pilings are 90% bad if they are a 100 years old.

*Cathy Larson said the dock railing curves out towards the fireworks. She loves the dock but we can spare a year’s access to be safe and cautions. She doesn’t want anyone hurt.

*Bill Henry suggested the POI ask for an attorney opinion. He asked does the letter from CHE create true liability or will that be in the document that we get on the 23rd? Comm. Frank responded that a legal counsel was given that described the risks involved and advised a course of action to eliminate or reduce that risk to public safety.

The commissioners were asked if more evaluations will be done and will the recommendations from CHE given on July 23rd be based on the soundings only or include the swaying, too.

Comm. Henderson stated the assessment on the 23rd will give us a prioritized schedule for cross bracing and piling replacement. We can retask the engineer. He also stated that he feels the frustration of other here and that the POI has a duty to share data/information with the public and that data is sometimes worrisome.





Comm. Henderson outlined that it was difficult to determine what number of people is dangerous. He sees three choices: 1. Close the dock until more data is obtained 2. Close the dock on specific dates with anticipated high usage. 3. Do nothing. His opinion is that the POI needs to close the dock temporarily and gather more information.

POI Special Meeting Minutes; June 27, 2013





Comm. Frank stated that risk to the public safety has been outlined according to CHE. The POI commissioners have to determine if they can mediate those risks until further investigation and, if they cannot, they have no choice but to temporarily close the dock in the interest of public safety. Getting a second opinion and questioning methodology are useful suggestions and will be followed up on to determine their potential to finding appropriate solutions.

Comm. Henderson made a motion to accept resolution 2013-05 which provided for closure of the dock until it was deemed safe. There were questions regarding the language of the resolution and it was determined that legal counsel would be asked to aid with appropriate language on a future resolution. Instead, a motion was made by Comm. Henderson to suspend use of the dock immediately for a period of 30 days while the structure is being assessed was seconded by Comm. Frank and voted in approval by the Board. It was agreed that signs would be placed at either end of the dock and barriers would be erected at the beginning of the dock and at the dock ramp entrance near the end of the dock.











Commissioner Jeff Henderson




Commissioner Joan Wald



______________________________________________ ______________________________________

Commissioner Judith Frank Recording Secretary



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