Magistrates decided to put out feelers to see if they can get a few more quotes as to how much it will cost to either repair or replace the clock in the historic courthouse. The clock, which was put in 40 years ago, is wearing out says Thomas E. Hovey, product manager of The Verdin Company, who put the clock in and maintains it to this day. Hovey says the clock is in need of a lot of work to get it going properly again.
The popular timepiece recently stopped chiming on the hour, as it has for decades due to its condition. 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 repair 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 Executive Logan Chick noted at Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting, when magistrates decided to seek other bids, that Hovey’s estimate did not include running electricity up into the cupola where the clock sits, nor did it include lifting the equipment up to the cupola if the court decided to replace the clock.
Although Hovey’s clock was put in in 1973, the presence of a clock in the historic courthouse is much older than that. Local historian Ed Coffman, who is 91-years-old, says he can remember climbing into the clock when he was 14, and etched his name on all four clock faces. That would put the clocks presence back to 1936.