Peculiar resident Larry Boucher says it’s time to help the county courthouse tower clock start ticking again.
By BETHANY BASHIOUM
Special to The Star
Boucher encouraged Cass County commissioners to evaluate the costs of making the clock operational during a meeting late last month.
“What I would like to see is to bring this thing back to its original condition in the tower house itself,” he said. “It’s time to fix the clock.”
Boucher, who has a special interest in clocks, said the clock, which is mounted on the south side of the courthouse in Harrisonville, hasn’t been keeping time for about five years.
“It’s something that has been on everyone’s mind for a while. When it worked, everyone liked it and it gave an ambience to the square,” he told the commissioners. “The thing that we really need to be concerned about is that we need to restore it, rather than just getting it running. We need to preserve some of the things that we have in the county.”
In 1909, a mechanical clock was installed in the courthouse. About 20 years later, the clock was electrified with two electric motors.
Boucher, who operates Larry’s Clock Repair in Peculiar, submitted a $10,000 bid to former Commissioner Bill Cook to make improvements in October 2009.
The proposal was turned down because of the county’s financial constraints, he said.
Boucher said he later concluded that a clock tower professional should do the restoration.
“I came to the conclusion that I was out of my mind to put my neck out there on a crane for that kind of money,” he said.
He encouraged commissioners to secure a bid, perhaps from the New York clock tower restorer who is currently doing work on a street clock along Minnesota Avenue in Kansas City, Kan.
“I would like to see us entertain the idea and look at it,” Presiding Commissioner Jeff Cox said. “It seems to me as a pretty good cost benefit because it really comes down to our identity and history.”
Cox added that if the county decides move forward, the expense could be drawn from the county’s Courthouse Restoration Fund, possibly next year.