Safety Certification Required for Nueces County Crime Victims’ Memorial

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The City received inquiries regarding two angel statues at the Nueces County Crime Victims’ Memorial. The two statues as currently erected have not been certified by an engineer as being structurally sound and, as such, could pose a safety hazard for the public. Additionally, the angel statues concept and installation was not reviewed or approved by the City prior to their installation as required in the agreement between the memorial organizers and the City of Corpus Christi. As currently constructed, the statues could be a safety issue as determined by the City’s Development Services Department.

The City is willing to allow the angel statues to be a permanent part of the memorial once all contract installation terms have been met and once the memorial organizers obtain an engineering safety certification. The City’s intent is not to be insensitive to the group’s purpose to memorialize their loved ones.

The City’s Chief Building Inspector conducted a site visit at the garden and has recommended cordoning off the statues until memorial organizers get an engineering safety certification. This will still allow for viewing but it will limit close access to the statues as a safety precaution. The cordoning was completed today, September 19, 2020.

The required engineer’s report will validate that the angel statues ultimately are installed in a manner that will resist required wind loads. All work must be in compliance with applicable ordinances and regulations. The organization will have 30 calendar days to submit the report to the City’s Development Services Department.

On July 21, 2020, The Nueces County Victims’ Memorial organizers were notified by the City’s Parks & Recreation Department that the memorial site at that time was not in compliance with the approved design guidelines outlined in the Memorial Installation Agreement and that exhibits that were not in compliance were to be removed. Initially, the group agreed to remove all non-compliance items including the two angel statues.

On September 14, 2020, all non-compliant exhibits were removed with exception of the two angel statues. City staff sent a follow-up email to organizers issuing a deadline of September 25, 2020 to remove the statues in an effort to seek compliance and maintain public safety. The removal request was issued to be consistent with the terms of the agreement, the use of the park, and to ensure public safety.

It is the City’s responsibility to ensure exhibits are designed and installed to ensure the safety of the public and maintain the natural aesthetics of the high-profile City Park while being enjoyed by all.