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St. Helens banners removed over problem

Pin securing metal banner came out of bracket


by: MARK MILLER - The pole at the corner of South 11th Street and Old Portland Road in St. Helens is empty after city workers took down the aluminum banner there last month.The banner poles that dot St. Helens are once again bare.

The pin securing the painted aluminum banner that hung at the corner of Old Portland Road and South 11th Street to the bottom tier of its pole was discovered to have come loose about two weeks ago, according to the chairwoman of the Arts and Cultural Commission, Kannikar Petersen.

The St. Helens Public Works Department “chose to remove them all so that we can get the problem fixed,” Petersen said.

“If one can come out ... then we were concerned that the others might come out too,” explained Neal Sheppeard, public works supervisor for the city. “They were all pretty much installed the same way.”

As Petersen and Sheppeard described it, the 11th Street banner hung from the top tier of its F-shaped pole with the 2.5-inch stainless steel pin dangling from the bottom before Public Works took it and the other banners down.

“It’s just not a safe situation to just have them dangling there,” Sheppeard said.

Petersen suggested the bottom pin could have been taken out by a vandal, while Sheppeard speculated it may have come out due to wind bending the pole.

The old mechanism keeping the banners in place failed during a storm last February, prompting a temporary removal. Petersen said the new design was tested and found to be secure prior to the banners being put up again this summer — about a month before the 11th Street banner came loose, she said.

The commission is recommending the poles be redesigned and reinstalled to eliminate the new problem, according to Petersen. The St. Helens City Council is set to decide whether it will accept the commission’s recommendation at its meeting next Wednesday.

Petersen said she hopes the banners can be restored to their poles.

“At least when the banner is up, we receive overwhelming comments about how ‘we like the way this banner looks,’” said Petersen, adding, “We’re going to fix it for good. And we really want it to go back up, because we believe it’s a good project.”