The Redevelopment Agency Monday voted 4 to 1, with Richard Brundo dissenting, to spend up to $28,000 on a coring survey of City Hall and Fire Station 1 to determine the buildings' ability to withstand earthquakes.
The study will involve drilling small holes in the buildings to extract samples of building materials for analysis by private structural engineers. It will take about two months, said Richard Miyahira, a city building inspector.
Results of the survey will also dictate the resale value of the buildings if the city decides to build a new city hall and fire station, said Jody Hall-Esser, the city Community Development Director.
A survey of the buildings by the Los Angeles-based Taubman & Associates found that neither would be able to withstand an earthquake of 6.0 magnitude on the Richter scale. Although the study was conducted in April, it was not released to the public until last week.
Brundo said he thought the study was unnecessary.
Meanwhile, the city's chief administrative officer has assured city employees working in City Hall and Fire Station 1 that the chance of a devastating earthquake in the next several years "is very remote."
In a memo last week, Dale Jones said he wanted to reassure employees about the safety of the buildings amid reports that said both should be vacated because they are not earthquake-safe.
"The City Hall, built in 1928, has weathered many earthquakes," Jones wrote. "Based on the latest and best information available to us, the probability of an earthquake severe enough to damage City Hall and Fire Station No. 1 within the next five years is very remote."