It was the worst of times for the Monmouth Clock

The Monmouth City Clock was removed on Aug. 10.

Phyllis Bolman
The Monmouth City Clock was removed on Aug. 10.

MONMOUTH — The Monmouth Urban Renewal Agency decided at their meeting on Aug. 7 to remove the clock on Main Street without immediate plans to replace it.

“You’ve probably noticed that our clock next to city hall is not keeping time anymore,” said Suzanne Dufner, community development director.

Members of Monmouth Civic Club and Monmouth Garden Club dedicated the clock on July 4, 1987.

City staff last Tuesday asked the Monmouth Urban Renewal Agency, which consists of Monmouth city councilors, for some direction.

In the staff report, Dufner said she received an estimate of $4,200 from Meyer Sign Co. to repair the clock.

The company recommended replacing the bulbs with LED lights and replacing the “weathered clock cabinet faces” at the same time for an additional $2,300.

Staff also looked into the cost of replacing the clock.

“Staff did some research online of some general estimates of what it would cost to install a new clock,” Dufner said. “It varies widely, as you can imagine, depending on the height and how many faces it has. We’ve got some pretty interesting Art Deco interpretations.”

Replacing the clock would cost anywhere between $10,000 and $50,000, based on the information staff found, she said.

“We might be able to make that a fun community input exercise if we had a couple of options that had the Urban Renewal Agency’s blessing that we could present to the public, and they could vote on their favorite clock,” Dufner said. “Or do we just remove it and wait and see.”

Roxanne Beltz said she liked the idea of getting community feedback on a couple of options.

“I think the community deserves a nice clock that they can look and say, we supported this,” she said.

Darin Silbernagel said the timing on this issue was interesting.

“We don’t really know how all the pieces are going to fit together,” he said. “I’m kind of inclined to hold off for the time being. If we remove it, maybe that’s better in the short run.”

Byron Shinkle said, while he didn’t want to disrespect anyone’s opinion, “it seems a frivolous expense at this point to replace that. I’m with Jon (Carey) for kick-the-can-down-the-road and incorporate that into city hall somehow whether that’s in two years or 10 years. The clock hasn’t been working for 15 — or as long as I can remember — so nobody’s going to miss it.”

The clock was removed on Friday, Aug. 10.

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