By JANE ERNSBERGER
Times-Junction News Editor
The clock and tower which once graced the top of municipal government in the City of Willard has been transported to Cincinnati.
Pat Dochenetz, regional representative for the Verdin Company, was in Willard Wednesday to oversee the loading and transport of the tower and workings to their location to assess the condition of the unit.
This is right up our alley," Dochenetz noted. "No job we do is like the last one."
Dochenetz said his company, which has worked with bells and clocks since 1842, had seen some publications talking about the old clock and local efforts to restore it.
"We were rather interested in it," he noted. "On my first visit to town, I took a survey. The process started there."
Since the clock and the housing is of historical value to the residents, Dochenetz said is had to be transported properly. The company that transported the unit was one his company had used in the past so he said he was very comfortable entrusting the clock tower to the workers who came to Willard.
A trailer was used to haul the outside frame and top of the tower. Before being hauled onto the trailer by Wilcox Wrecker, Dochenetz said workers shored up the inside of the wooden structure The actual clock and its workings were stored inside a box truck for the trip to Cincinnati. Dochenetz said those wanting to restore the clock are adamant about using as much of the original clock as possible.
"It's understandable," he noted. "It is familiar. It represents the past and the future." Now that the clock tower is at the Verdin Company, Dochenetz said they will do a complete assessment of the clock to find out the extent of the damage and what it will cost to repair it. Everything done to repair the unit will be done in-house, including any work to the bell itself and the carillon.
In order to try and save money for the committee working to put the bell back up in the City of Willard, Dochenetz said they will try to streamline the project. Once the inspection is done, a plan of action can be developed, along with the cost of repairs and renovations.
"This will give them a closer idea from a fundraising standpoint," Dochenetz added. "We enjoy partnering with the town for this project. We want the clock to withstand the test of time."