Pulaski County Maintenance Director Morry Demarco told the Commissioners this week that the bell and clock tower atop the courthouse is in pretty rough shape. According to Demarco, the tower is in need of being re-tuckpointed to reapply mortar between the bricks with an estimated repair time of up to four weeks.
Demarco says the repairs can’t be done with regular cement, but instead must consist of a mixture of lime and sand because of the age of the bricks. The two rooms in the tower need attention soon, as the mortar and the bricks themselves are slowly crumbling.
Commissioner Kenneth Boswell told Demarco that any contractors that are hired will need to have experience dealing with these kinds of older structures, but Demarco assured him that there are local contractors available with the necessary know-how.
But the brick and mortar problems aren’t the only things plaguing the old clock tower; an old air raid siren is causing some strain on the structure as well. Demarco told the commissioners that a wire running from the massive, 800-lb. siren to a nearby telephone pole is pulling against the window, putting a lot of pressure on that wall.
Demarco estimates the wire is about 200 feet long and runs through the window of the tower, pulling the siren against the window on a wooden board. Because the siren is no longer used, Demarco says the wire could be cut but he doesn’t expect it to be easy.
“It’s going to take probably two bucket trucks because it overhangs the street light wires on both sides of the street and then goes down the alley farther yet, so it’s going to take two bucket trucks to remove the wire,” said Demarco.