Councilors approved a request to begin exploring options for replacing the city owned clock located in The First Church in Belfast during a meeting Wednesday, March 5.

The clock, which was crafted in Belfast by blacksmiths, is in constant need of adjustments to make it function properly, City Manager Joseph Slocum explained to councilors.

For that reason, he asked for permission to begin looking at options for installing a modern mechanism in place of the existing clock. However, he said the original clock would be preserved in some manner because of its historical value to the city.

Some of the existing clock would continue to be used, such as the gears that operate all four faces of the clock, even after the modern mechanism is installed. The portions of the original clock that could not be used would be moved over about 20 inches and encased in Plexiglas, Slocum said.

“Looking at it from the outside, you wouldn’t even know it’s mechanized,” Slocum said in regards to replacing the existing clock.

In addition to the modern mechanism, Slocum said all four faces of the clock would be restored, and the gold painted wooden hands would be replaced with replica gold metal hands.

Councilors unanimously approved Slocum’s request to proceed with installing a modern clock mechanism.

In other business:

City councilors approved a request to transfer $20,000 from the Transfer Station Equipment Reserve to purchase a used 2005 Case Loader backhoe for $29,900. The Public Works Department would kick in an additional $10,000 towards the purchase of the machine.

The City Manager received authorization to execute a release deed to a taxpayer who was away when the minimum tax payment was due to stop an automatic foreclosure on their home. The homeowner made the payment to the city.

Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached at 338-3333 or at

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