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The bell tolls for Tyler’s clock tower

By Staff | Apr 15, 2009

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS — The clock tower in the Tyler County Courthouse could be rendered functionless if repairs are not made soon.

The bell could start tolling for the Tyler County Courthouse’s clock tower if commissioners don’t act to repair the historic structure.

The Tyler County Commission heard the concerns of local resident Dave Frum at their April 14 meeting. Frum asked the commissioners to do all they could to repair the clock tower.

Attempts have been made in the past to keep the clock functional, but no major renovations have been done. The clock must occasionally be wound in order to function correctly.

Frum said the Wetzel County Courthouse in New Martinsville went with an Ohio company to have their clock tower repaired. Frum urged the commissioners to save the county landmark.

The Tyler County Courthouse in Middlebourne was built in 1852 as the county’s first permanent courthouse. It was expanded in 1922 when the original section and the new wing were both faced with identical brick.

Commissioner John Stender chose to take the lead on investigating what could be done for the clock tower. Stender told Frum to check back in two weeks at the next commission meeting April 28 to receive an answer.

The commission approved providing 25 percent of the cost for a Student Resource Officer at Tyler Consolidated Middle/High School.

The program places a sheriff’s deputy in the school. The Tyler County Board of Education provides the other 75 percent in funding. Scott Dalrymple will remain the SRO.

Stender asked about a verbal agreement with Gary Patterson for the leasing of property the county received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Patterson would pay the county property tax on the property in return for the lease. Currently no official lease agreement has been completed yet. Tyler County Prosecutor Luke Furbee was asked to draw up a lease agreement.

Commission President Charles “Pork” Smith said the agreement had been approved in regular meeting, but the deal has not been finalized. The lease would be continuing and could be revoked at any time.

Boggs Mowing Services was award a contract for mowing of the Klondike Tower and Sistersville Tower. They agreed to care for the property twice a month, starting in April 09 through April 2010.

The county received word that the Justice Assistance grant and the Victims Of Crime Act grant applications were received. A letter was also received from Delegate Roger Romine, saying a funding request for the county submitted, but it remains uncertain as to whether the county will receive any extra funding.