Madison County has three options on how to restore the courthouse clock.
County administrator, Rob Slane, discussed the possible options for restoration at Tuesday’s meeting of the county commissioners.
“There are three options from Phil Wright in South Charleston,” Slane said. Wright is a clock restoration specialist who currently has the clock mechanism in storage. “I wanted to bring everyone up to speed since I know there is some concern in the community.”
The three options come with three separate price tags. First, the clock could be fully restored by matching its original design and mechanics—including fabricating new pieces to match the original work. The cost for a full restoration is $120,000.
A second option would be to give the clock electric motors to get it working without having to replace original parts and giving it new faces. The cost for that would be $90,000. The third option would have some pieces restored but would bring new clock faces and a modern clock design. That cost would be $60,000.
Commissioner Mark Forrest expressed concern with spending the money on repairs given the financial figures.
“We need to be looking at the money we’ve been spending on this,” he said, noting the courthouse roof renovation as well as other high-dollar county expenses. “We have a lot of things we’re working on right now.”
Slane mentioned that he and Tony Xenikis, the current republican nominee for county commissioner, talked about looking at possible donations.
“Tony and I had that discussion,” Slane said. “He brought up utilizing the historical society and between the two of us, we thought if we could utilize the historical society as a 501c3, (Wright) could donate the clock and have a tax write-off.”
Xenikis, who attended a couple of the previous commissioner meetings including taking part in executive sessions, said the concern would be that the value of historical clocks such as this were $30,000 in the year 2000 and they could have possibly increased higher since then.
The county has also contacted the Verdin Co., a sixth-generation clock and bell manufacturer in Cincinnati, for repair estimates. No decision on what option to take has been made.
Also at the meeting Tuesday, commissioners were introduced to the county’s new Human Resources Specialist.
Sabah Al moved into the building this week to begin the process of familiarizing herself with the inner-workings of county government.
“We’re in need of an HR director,” said Commissioner David Dhume. “We’ve never had an HR director of any kind. We’ve always looked to the offices to handle those issues. It’s a clean slate.”
Al has a master’s degree in human resource management from Catholic University in Washington D.C. and has worked in the field for nearly eight years. She has lived in Ohio for the last five years.