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Time to fix clock tower

January 11, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- The Greencastle town clock has kept time in the borough since 1872 but the tower housing it above First National Bank of Greencastle has some in the borough worried that if not repaired soon, its time might be up.

The borough of Greencastle has set aside $75,000 in 2009 to repair the peeling lead paint and the weakening balusters, or railing, of the tower.

Borough Manager Ken Womack said the clock tower was last repaired in 1990 by architects Cushwa and Stouffer LLC. of Hagerstown, but Mayor Robert Eberly said time has weakened the tower and peeled off more paint.

Eberly said the balusters could almost be pierced completely through when tested.

On the whole, it is "normally sound," he said. A few pieces, however, need replaced.

The Greencastle Borough Council agreed and asked Womack on Jan. 1 to put the project out to bid.

In a letter to the borough, Kurt Cushwa said most of the damage could be repaired by a painting contractor.

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In the past, the clock has been routinely painted, but because it is wooden, members of the council are concerned that after 137 years, it needs more than a coat of paint, Womack said.

While the borough waits for bids, Womack said he is trying to solve the mystery of who owns the clock.

The citizens of Greencastle purchased the clock in 1872, according to the Chamber of Commerce Web site, but exactly who owns it now, has yet to be documented, Womack said.

Jeff Shank, CEO of First National Bank of Greencastle, said the bank has never claimed ownership of the clock. It did, however, take the liberty of maintaining the clock tower for many years.

Womack said the borough has budgeted money to repair the clock tower and hopefully it will have it repaired in the coming year.

The council asked that it be done by the next Old Home Week in August 2010.

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