Monday, November 22, 1999

Silent clock is ringing success




BY SUSAN VELA
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — They came. They saw. They left without hearing the new, $29,000 town clock ring.

        Residents were still proud of the four-faced, 16-foot-tall timepiece dedicated Sunday outside the city building, minus the chimes that were supposed to mark the occasion.

        Many had participated in the yearlong fund-raising effort that generated $35,000 and allowed the city to purchase the clock and the landscaping and red bricks surrounding it.

        “It's gorgeous,” said Lana Moser, who recorded the dedication ceremony on video.

        “They'll work the kinks out of it,” said her husband, David Moser Sr., as they began walking home.

        The clock was to ring its first chime at 2 p.m., when the dedication ceremony began, and ring every 15 minutes afterward.

        But Mayor Tom Holocher, master of ceremonies, learned the chimes were ringing inside the city building and not outside where everyone was anxiously waiting.

        “There are glitches and things. (But) it turned out to be ... something that the citizens can be proud of,” he said after the ceremony was done and people milled about for a reception.

        The city has received the firstSpirit of Cities Award from the Kentucky League of Cities for its fund-raising efforts and new timepiece.

        Despite its silence, plenty lingered under the clock after the dedication. They rested on benches, talked with friends and studied the clock's pedestal, which identifies the clock's benefactors.

        Pat and Ava Keith finally gave up on hearing the clock chime. But, as they headed home, they marveled at the city's new fixture.

        The clock is meant to recognize the city's past and future generations — or as Mr. Holocher put it, the end of one millennium and the start of another.

        “I guess we'll just come here another time,” Mrs. Keith said. Even if the clock isn't chiming, she said, “it's beautiful and I love it.”

        City Administrator Bill Goetz joked “It's not a Y2K problem.”

        Everything was working fine when the clock was installed in late October, he said.

        A technician from the Verdin Co., which did the installation, was to have the clock chiming some time today.

        Besides sounding at 15-minute intervals, it also will ring in the new year and play seasonal music at Christmas, the Fourth of July and other special occasions.

       



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