Court gets lower price on replacing historic clock

Chris Cooper Managing Editor

January 30, 2014

A new quote has been given on repairing the historic courthouse clock which rests in a cupola complete with a tin fish on top. The county has been looking into either repairing or replacing the old time piece that has been a part of Logan County for close to a century. The actual inner workings of the clock have been replaced over the years of course, the current one being put in sometime in the 1970s, and then worked on in the 1990s.

Chime Masters, a company out of Ohio, read about the county’s courthouse clock woes in the News-Democrat & Leader recently and contacted Judge Executive Logan Chick’s office asking if they could look at the problem. The clock has been winding down and has stopped chiming altogether.

The clock, which was last put in by the The Verdin Company, who maintains it to this day, looks as if replacement is going to be the only option.

Thomas E. Hovey, product manager of Verdin came down and looked at the clock reporting it needed a lot of work to get it going properly again, $18,000 worth. According to Hovey, his technicians found the bell strikers’ solenoid coil had been burned, and the clock was three hours behind. But the clock’s strikers are not the only problem, the equipment is worn out as well, and should be replaced, or the time will continue to drift off of the correct time.

When a quote of $18,000 was given by Hovey, the court balked at replacing the clock, however, after a few weeks, magistrates decided they should try and get other quotes first before making a final decision of the clock’s fate.

Judge Chick said at Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting that he was uncomfortable releasing the price Chime Masters gave to replace the clock. he did say, however, that it was lower than $18,000.

Magistrates decided to table any decision on the clock until the next court meeting, allowing for time to look into grant opportunities through BRADD and Russellville’s grant writer Kay Simmons.

“I hate to see us spending money before we check and see if a grant could be obtained to pay for it,” said magistrate Barry Joe Wright.

Judge Chick said through his dealings with the archives building, which is older than the courthouse, he didn’t know of there would be a grant available for a structure that is being occupied.