Rancho Palos Verdes City Council
   

AUGUST 1, 2006 Rancho Palos Verdes MOISTURE REMEDIATION AT HESSE PARK AUGUST 1, 2006 Rancho Palos Verdes MOISTURE REMEDIATION AT HESSE PARK



AUGUST 1, 2006 Rancho Palos Verdes MOISTURE REMEDIATION AT HESSE PARK



TO: HONORABLE MAYOR AND MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

FROM: ASSISTANT CITY MANAGER/CITY CLERK

DATE: AUGUST 1, 2006

SUBJECT: MOISTURE REMEDIATION AT HESSE PARK

RECOMMENDATION

1) Authorize staff to conduct an informal bid process to complete the proposed Interior Moisture Remediation Work Plan at Hesse Park for a total cost not to exceed $9,000; 2) Authorize staff to conduct a formal bid process to complete the proposed Exterior Moisture Remediation Work Plan at Hesse Park for a total cost not to exceed $50,000; and 3) ADOPT RESOLUTION NO. 2006- , A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2006-41, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006-07, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE BUILDING REPLACEMENT FUND.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Cox Communications has asserted that there is a mold problem at Hesse Park and has not allowed its employees to work inside the audio/video control room at the facility for the last three months. Although at total of four environmental investigations have been conducted at the facility, including one by the cable operator’s consultant, no evidence has been found to indicate that there is a serious mold problem at Hesse Park. However, due to the semi-subterranean design and the age of the building (20+ years), the City’s consultant has determined that there is a slight moisture problem inside the building created by the retaining wall located along the north side of the structure. Therefore, in order to move forward, staff is recommending that Council authorize staff to complete moisture remediation work both inside and outside the building for a total estimated cost of $59,000, in order to address the cable operator’s concerns and extend the life of the building. The Building Replacement Fund is proposed as the source of funding for this project. During the interior remediation, staff will work with Cox Communications to upgrade the audio/video equipment in the multi-purpose room to address Council’s concerns regarding the broadcast quality of City meetings.

BACKGROUND

On May 16, 2006, staff first reported to Council that Cox Communications would be modifying the equipment set up for broadcasting City meetings so that its employees would no longer work inside the video control room at Hesse Park while broadcasting/ taping City meetings. At that time, the City had received two complaints from Cox Communications, first in 2003 and again in 2006, alleging that there is a mold problem inside the video control room that may affect the health of its employees. In both instances, the City commissioned an environmental study of the facility. Although some amplification of mold spore counts were found in both investigations, no evidence was found that there is a significant mold problem inside the building.

The study conducted by Bye Bye Mold in July 2003 found that the mold spore counts in the control room were actually lower than the baseline count taken outdoors. However, the study also found that there was some mold amplification in other areas of the building, including the multi-purpose room (Council Chambers). Pursuant to the consultant’s recommendations, the City purchased a HEPA air filter for the room and required the City’s janitorial service to use vacuum cleaners equipped with HEPA filters.

Staff recently learned that the City conducted a second mold study in 2003. This study, performed by One Source Group in November 2003, found similar results to the study performed in July 2003 in that the mold spore counts in the video control room were lower than the baseline count taken outdoors. Similar to the July 2003 report, the November 2003 study found an elevated spore count in the kitchen, which was described as being two times greater than the baseline. However, the report concluded: “although there is an elevation (of mold) within the building, the overall spore count is relatively low and not viewed as being at a harmful level at this time.” As part of this study, One Source Group also inspected the exterior of the building and noted that the north wall also functions as a retaining wall for approximately 10 feet of soil and suggested that drainage options should be explored for the retaining wall backfill area “to alleviate moisture build up behind this wall in the future.”

The most recent study was again conducted by One Source Group in March 2006 and found that all interior samples, which included the control room and the multi-purpose room, yielded mold concentrations that were equal to or below the outdoor sample. In addition, all interior samples matched uniformly with the exterior sample and no “unique” spores were identified in the interior samples. Finally, all samples yielded concentrations that were below the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) recommended levels for interior spaces.

The May 16th staff report included a list of additional items the City was willing to do in order to allay the cable operator’s concerns about the facility, including offering to provide access to the facility for Cox Communications to conduct its own environmental testing of the building. Based on staff’s assurance that the City would continue to work with the cable operator of resolve its concerns and Cox General Manager Art Yoon’s representation that the cable operator would work with the City to upgrade the audio/video equipment at Hesse Park, Council received and filed the report (see attached excerpt minutes).

DISCUSSION

Following the May 16th Council meeting, staff provided access to the cable operator’s own environmental consultant, Higgins and Associates Environmental Consultants (Higgins), to conduct additional mold testing at Hesse Park. On May 30, 2006, staff was provided with a copy of the resultant report dated May 26, 2006.

The Higgins report indicates that the total fungal spore count inside the Council Chambers and the video control room were higher than the total spore count of the two outdoor (background) samples and were not consistent with the distribution of fungal species identified in the outdoor samples. Specifically, the Higgins report found a higher percentage of Aspergillius/Penicillium mold species or related sport parts than in the background samples. City staff found it interesting, however, that the Higgins report does not indicate that the spore counts exceed the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) recommended levels for interior spaces. In addition, the Higgins report makes no mention of the results of surface swab samples collected from the wall surface inside the video control room. Only a review of the attached test results reveals that no fungi were detected in this sample.

Following the submittal of the Higgins report, Cox forwarded a letter to staff from Jeffrey Citrone of Higgins dated May 30, 2006 (see attached). The letter includes a number of recommended remedial items to be completed by the City at Hesse Park, including demolishing and replacing the partition wall separating the Council Chambers from the adjacent video control room, storage closets and kitchen. In response, the City asked its consultant, One Source Group, to review the Higgins’ May 26, 2006 report and June 2, 2006 letter and provide the City with recommendations for moving forward. Based on its two prior investigations and the information contained in the Higgins report and letter, One Source Group provided the attached letter to the City dated June 16, 2005. The letter outlines a two-pronged approach to 1) address Cox’s immediate concerns (interior remediation) and 2) implement a long-term solution to eliminate future moisture intrusion into the building (exterior remediation).

Exterior Moisture Remediation Work:

When the Hesse Park Community Building was constructed in 1984, the building pad was graded down from the original plans in order to reduce the building’s roof elevation. This change in the building’s design was to address the concerns of adjacent neighbors about possible view impairment. As a result of this modification, a portion of the northern wall became a retaining wall with 10 feet of fill placed against it. The air conditioning system for the building is also located in this area. In its November 2003 report, One Source Group noted that because of the building’s construction (cinder block) and age (over twenty years), the porous nature of the northern wall has slowly allowed moisture to seep through into the interior of the building. The consultant has recommended that the City excavate the retaining wall backfill area behind the building, seal the exposed exterior wall with a waterproof compound and install a gravel backfill/PVC pipe drainage system.

The Public Works Department has estimated that the proposed work to the exterior of the building will take approximately four (4) months to complete, including the time required to solicit formal bids for the contract. Staff estimates the cost to complete the work at $50,000. The exterior work can be conducted concurrently with the interior remediation described below.

Interior Moisture Remediation Work

Based on One Source Group’s June 16th response letter, staff proposes to conduct the following remedial work at Hesse Park:

 Clean the interior walls of the Council Chambers, video control room, adjacent storage closets and kitchen, including physically removing any deposits and surface damage on the walls created by moisture; cleaning the walls with a biocide cleaner; sealing with a waterproof compound; and repainting with a mold retardant paint.
 Remove the floor tiles in the video control room and adjacent closets and clean the floors using an anti-microbial treatment.
 Steam clean the carpet in the Council Chambers using an anti-microbial treatment.
 Inspect and clean, as necessary, the building’s air conditioning system.
 Expose and visually inspect the partition wall inside the video control room for possible mold growth. This work will be done by cutting two, 2 square foot “windows” in the drywall; one near the floor and the other immediately below the ceiling. If visible mold growth is present within the wall cavity, a licensed water damage/mold remediation contractor will perform the necessary remediation work.
 Conduct post-remediation air sampling for total mold spore counts and identification by a qualified firm.

Although Cox’s consultant recommends demolition and replacement of the partition wall, City staff proposes to investigate the interior condition of the wall as an initial step. If any remediation is required, the City will follow its consultant’s recommendations, up to and including demolition and replacement of the partition wall, if required.

The Public Works Department has estimated that the proposed work inside the building will take approximately 30 to 45 days to complete, depending in scheduling around other activities in the building and can be accomplished through an informal bid process. Staff estimates a cost of $7,000 to complete the work described above, although an additional $2,000 may be required if the investigation inside the partition wall indicates that a specialist is required. Therefore, the total amount requested is $9,000 for this portion of the remediation.

CONCLUSION

At staff’s request, Mr. Art Yoon has submitted the attached email confirming that the recommended actions are satisfactory and that Cox Communications supports the plan. Therefore, if approved by Council, the proposed moisture remediation work at Hesse Park will address the concerns raised by the cable operator and will prevent future moisture intrusion into the building, thereby extending the life of this heavy used City facility. The interior work can be completed within 30 to 45 days of Council authorization, with the longest time frame revolving around the need to schedule the work with the other activities going on in the facility. It may be necessary to relocate one or more City meetings (City Council or Planning Commission) to another facility, such as the Point Vicente Interpretive Center, during the completion of the interior remediation work. During the interior remediation, staff will work with Cox Communications to upgrade the audio/video equipment in the multi-purpose room to address Council’s concerns regarding the broadcast quality of City meetings.

FISCAL IMPACT

Because the proposed work is to address a moisture intrusion problem at Hesse Park and will help to extend the life of the building, staff recommends that the $59,000 required for the interior and exterior repairs be funding from the City’s Building Replacement Fund. The estimated balance of the Building Replacement Fund on June 30, 2007 is $1,207,449.

Respectfully submitted:

Carolynn Petru
Assistant City Manager/City Clerk

Reviewed,

Les Evans
City Manager

Attachments:

Resolution No. 2006 - ;
Excerpt Minutes of May 16, 2006 City Council Meeting
Letter from Jeffrey Citrone, Higgins and Associates Environmental Consultants, dated May 30, 2006
Letter from Tom Kefalas, One Source Group, dated June 16, 2006
Email from Art Yoon, Manager, Government Affairs, Cox Communications, dated July 24, 2006

RESOLUTION NO. 2006-

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES AMENDING RESOLUTION NO. 2006-41, THE BUDGET APPROPRIATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 06-07, FOR A BUDGET ADJUSTMENT TO THE CITY'S BUILDING REPLACEMENT FUND FOR MOISTURE REMEDIATION AT FRED HESSE COMMUNITY PARK

WHEREAS, on June 6, 2006 the City Council of the City of Rancho Palos Verdes adopted Resolution No. 2006-41, approving a spending plan and authorizing a budget appropriation for the 2006-2007 fiscal year; and,

WHEREAS, Section 3.32 of the Rancho Palos Verdes Municipal Code provides that all expenditures in excess of budgeted allocations must be by supplemental appropriation of the City Council; and,

WHEREAS, there is a need to perform interior and exterior moisture remediation work at Fred Hesse Community Park in order to extend the life of the building, which was not accounted for in the adopted FY 06-07 Budget.

BE IT, THEREFORE, RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF RANCHO PALOS VERDES:

Section 1: The following increase be made to the fiscal year 2006-2007 Building Replacement Fund budget:

Building Replacement Fund:

Building Improvements #686-3086-461-73-00 $59,000

PASSED, APPROVED, and ADOPTED this 1st day of August 2006.

___________________________
MAYOR
ATTEST:

______________________
CITY CLERK

State of California )
County of Los Angeles )ss
City of Rancho Palos Verdes )

I, Carolynn Petru, City Clerk of The City of Rancho Palos Verdes, hereby certify that the above Resolution No. 2006-___ was duly and regularly passed and adopted by the said City Council at regular meeting thereof held on August 1, 2006.

___________________________
CITY CLERK