At 125 feet tall, doing a repair job on the tallest flagpole in Richfield City is a complicated prospect.
So tricky in fact that it would cost some $9,000 to complete, said Mayor David Ogden.
“It was going to be four to six weeks out,” Ogden said. “We wouldn’t have had our flag out on the most important day of the year for it.”
Ogden made some phone calls and found the city could rent a lift that reached the required height for a fraction of the cost.
Richfield’s airport manager Adam Robinson volunteered to take a ride up in the bucket to help fix the flagpole.
Since they would have the equipment anyway, the city also rented a sprayer and purchased a high quality acrylic paint to apply to the pole as well.
So Robinson, along with Rusty Merrill of Harrington & Company, strapped on harnesses and took the long ride to the top.
“I don’t know how I get in these situations,” Merrill said, jokingly, as the lift prepared to move into position.
First, Robinson attached a weight to the flag pole’s cable, which had snapped right at the top.
“If it had broken somewhere else, we could have been in trouble,” said Brett Butler, city parks superintendent. Once the weight was attached, that allowed Butler to lower the cable to the ground, where worn out hardware could be replaced.
The 30’ X 60’ flag was installed at the park in 2004. It is periodically replaced and repaired as the wind and elements take their toll. The wind also causes damage to the metal hardware, some of which looks like someone has tried to cut it with a torch.
“It’s just the wind,” Butler said.
While Butler repaired the mounting hardware, Robinson and Merrill began the hours long process of applying a new coat of white paint to the flagpole’s exterior.
“It looks so much better,” Mayor Ogden said. “I’m so glad that we have such great people who go above and beyond to do these things for our city.”
After allowing the paint to dry, the flag was once again in its normal spot Friday.
“We may start taking it down periodically to prevent some of the wind damage,” Ogden said. “But it’s important that we have this symbol above our community on the Fourth of July.”
The estimated cost for the repair job and equipment rental was some $2,000.