That’s because work was recently done to replace five strikers on the Westminster Chimes and the Hour Strike Bell. Greene County Assistant Engineer Don Van Gilder says a crew from The Verdin Company in Cincinnati, Ohio spent last week making the repairs. He explains why the strikers needed to be replaced.
“Those had been needing replaced because the solenoids, the electrical parts of the those strikers, had gone bad. So we had I think two or three that were not actually working at all.”
The project cost a little over $32,000 to complete. Van Gilder notes that this was the most extensive repair that’s ever been done to the 49 year-old structure. Other recent repairs and renovations were done by the Bell Tower Community Foundation. The improvements include replacing interior furniture, a new podium, a glass display case and replacing tile on the bottom floor.
Van Gilder says making all these repairs helps to entice more visitors to the iconic structure.
“I think it’s fantastic. I see the people marveling at the (Bell) Tower and at the courthouse at the same time. They look at that tower a lot differently than we people who see it everyday do. It’s just amazing.”
Van Gilder notes that they are in a three phase process. The first phase was repairing the five strikers, the second phase is to replace the other nine strikers and the last phase is purchasing the final set of bells and installing the full 48-Carillon bells. There’s no timeline for the two other phases.