October 8, 2013

Cass County seeking money to fix courthouse clock

Clock restorer Chuck Roeser says the 1909 Seth Thomas Model No. 16 is in need of total restoration.

County officials are ready to submit their grant application in hopes of receiving funds to get the Cass County Courthouse clock ticking once again.

County Economic Developer Melissa Freeman, assisted by local clock enthusiast Larry Boucher, presented their application to Cass County commissioners late last month.

New York Essence of Time clock restorer Chuck Roeser examined the clock in late May and said it needs total restoration. The quotes given for the restoration and preservation of the clock, a 1909 Seth Thomas Model No. 16, were offered in three components.

The first option, with a cost set at $33,500, was given to restore the clock mechanism as it now, with an electric motor.

The second option, to restore the movement back to an original, came in at $60,000.

As a third additional option, Roeser is also recommending restoring the exterior wooden dials, for an additional $24,000.

“Everybody that I’ve talked to about the tower clock has been 101 percent supportive,” Boucher said.

During a meeting earlier this summer, Presiding Commissioner Jeff Cox asked Freeman to pursue a grant from the Missouri State Historic Preservation Office. The organization awards about $1 million annually statewide. The maximum awarded per project is $100,000.

“All of our state legislators have written letters of support,” Freeman said. “It’s a significant project.”

The grant application is due in mid-October and winners are expected to be awarded four to six weeks after the deadline.

“It’s a competitive process,” Freeman said.

A 30 percent match is required for the grant.

With other expenses figured in, Cox said, the total cost of project is $106,450. If awarded the grant, the county would be on the hook for approximately $31,000.

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