BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, EDITOR
The Boyne City Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday March 29 to contract the Balzer Family Clock Works of Freeport, Maine, to restore the city’s historic timepiece.
Boyne City Manager Michael Cain presented commissioners with a plan to refurbish the 1904 E. Howard & Co. tower clock at an estimated cost of $85,744.
“One of the real joys of this project has been how the community’s come together with regards to efforts to blend progress with regards to reflecting Boyne City’s proud history,” Cain said.
“The space that we’re providing in the facility for the new museum with regards to the appropriate display that will be coming forward for our nearly 100-year-old La France fire truck and then the element that also seems to have gotten a lot of attention and some excitement is the city clock refurbishing.”
The Balzers provided the city with the refurbishment plan on Dec. 15, 2015.
“In short, they were very excited and optimistic—which seems to be their nature—about the opportunity to restore our clock and put it back into full operation,” Cain said.
The city had received only one other bid on the job but it was both far higher—at $125,000—and not in the direction the city wanted to go with restoring the clock.
“Funds for this project are included in the 2016-2017 city budget,” said Cain. “Currently, we have $90,000 set aside for that in the budget as presented.”
Cain said the clock expenses are eligible to be paid for with funds from the new city facilities bond/millage as they are integral parts of the city facility project.
“I talked late last week to Linda Balzer and they are very confident that the estimated time for the restoration of the clock should be a little over six months,” he said. “So, it should be well within the 14-month time-frame that the project itself is scheduled to take for the facility.”
Cain added, “They would like us to get the clock to them as soon as possible so that they are not under any crunches just in case anything does come up.”
Cain said the city is working with local companies to arrange for the delivery and pickup of the clock to the Balzer Family Clock Works.
The finished clock’s workings will be seen through windows at all times of the day and night for those interested in viewing them.