Logan County Judge Ray Gack is on a money hunt.
Last week, Gack said he’s seeking money to pay for repairs to the Logan County Courthouse in Paris. Specifically, the judge said repairs are needed to the clock tower and the pillars at the courthouse.
“We’re looking for donations,” Gack said last week. “I guess we’ll do a go fund me page on Facebook.”
All kidding aside, Gack said he’s asked the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District to see if they can help the county find funds to pay for the repairs.
“I talked to them recently and they said they haven’t found any money yet,” Gack said, “but they’ll keep looking.”
Money to repair the clock tower was put in the 2017 county budget by the Logan County Quorum Court. However, the $85,000 budgeted isn’t nearly enough, based on the one bid submitted.
“Bids were opened and the only bid we got was for $156,000,” Gack said.
Gack said repairs are needed because the lumber in the clock tower is deteriorating and the paint is “crumbling.”
“It’s also leaning slightly to the north,” Gack said. “I don’t know if that’s a new problem or not. I also wanted to move the bell and display it. But, the Arkansas Historic Preservation people tell me that won’t work.”
The Courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places, meaning repairs have to preserve the historic nature of the building. The bell, which still sits in the tower, isn’t used. The chimes that sound from the tower are a recording. Another problem is the tower’s elevation from the ground, Gack said.
“Fixing the tower is real simple,” Gack said. “The problem is getting to it. You’d have to use a lot of scaffolding.”
One option, according to the judge, is to wait until next year and another round of funding from the historic preservation program.
The county has applied for funding from the program to fix columns on the courthouse.
“They are deteriorating,” Gack said. “They are beyond repair, so they are going to have to be replaced. We applied for funds to pay for it this year. We’ll know something by July.”
Gack said the county applied for $200,000. Whether that will be enough will depend on the bids.
In addition to repairing the tower and replacing the columns, Gack said “everything else needs to be repainted.”
Nevertheless, Gack remains optimistic the repairs will be done — eventually.
“My goal is to get all of this done within the next two years,” he said.