Monterey Lions Club Thinks “It’s About Time”

The Monterey Lions Club has recently begun a project which will help keep the town trains running on time – if the town had trains, that is. Club member Mike Bedwell explained more.

“We have put together a project titled “It’s About Time,” and the purpose is to put clocks in the courthouse tower. My understanding is, when the current courthouse was built in about 1947-48, provision was made to install clocks in the tower. You can see the holes covered with plywood today – that was 68 years ago, so we decided that “it’s about time” to have some clocks in the tower.

“The Lions Club is collecting donations – the amount of donations received will determine how many clock faces we put in. One clock will cost around $5,000, that’s including the cost of installation. Two clocks would go $8,000 – that is because you get two clock faces, but the amount charged for installation is still the same. Three clocks would be about $10,000, and all four clocks would be about $12,000. So the level of funding will determine the level of time we’re able to keep in the courthouse.

“Donations are being sought from civic organizations. The Lions Club has already pledged an initial amount of $1,000 – we are going to be contacting the other service clubs in the county, and challenging them to match our donation. We’re also seeking donations from individuals and from businesses. We will be reporting progress on the “It’s About Timepiece”, which will be a sandwich sign with movable clock hands. We’re going to locate that somewhere around the courthouse once the donations start rolling in. We had anticipated originally starting the campaign off at the County Fair, but since presenting to the Board of Supervisors last week, there just seems to be a whole lot of interest in this project. I think a lot of folks think it’s about time.

“We have set that we’re going to run it through August 31st, 2017. Of course, if we collect enough funds before that, earlier than that, then the campaign has fulfilled its mission, and we’re done. This way, the population gets to decide how many clock faces they want.

“The Board of Supervisors has graciously agreed to accept the donations, so they will be tax deductible. So make your checks out to Highland County, and mail to the Monterey Lions Club, Box 131, Monterey VA, 24465.”

He talked about what spurred the project, and the possibility of sounds to accompany the visuals.

“I guess a few of us got to talking about the fact there weren’t clocks, and decided that we could do something about it. The first question was, how big are the holes, how big clocks are we talking about, so Jonathan Hartzler took me up into the cupola, of the courthouse, and I’m not allowed to say how one gets up there, it’s a secret. And I then, just to get a ballpark estimate, contacted a clock company. Kirk Billingsley is a member of the team also, and he’s getting bids from various clock manufacturers around the country, so we’ll make sure we get the best value for the dollar.

“Chimes are something we have thought about, but we’re focusing right now on the clocks. If we make a lot of money, enough to put in chimes, we would probably do that. The problem with chimes is that there will have to be some discussion about how loud they are. Some folks might say they’re too loud, some folks might say they’re not loud enough, based on where you live in relation to the courthouse.”

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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