The clock tower building needs help.
In a prepared statement to Plain City Village Council members Monday, business owner, Tammy Redmond, said the roof of the historic building has been leaking and it has caused damage to both the store and the timekeeping mechanisms of the clock.
Redmond, who owns and operates the antique store, Tique-Tock, said she has never had this issue since taking over in 2011. In fact, she added that the leaks started after the clock’s last restoration project began.
“When the first major rain came after the tower had been taken down for its repair, my sister noticed water droplets starting to come down quickly into our first floor store,” Redmond said. “When the clock was taken down, it was not sealed correctly.”
The clock was removed last summer for a major, six-month restoration. It was returned in late November, the week before the village’s Christmas Under the Clock celebration.
“It was literally raining in the clock tower room,” Redmond said.
In some areas of the building on the clock side, as much as two inches of water had started pooling on the second floor. The workers did their best to clean up the mess with towels, blankets and a wet/dry shop-vac but had difficulty keeping up.
Redmond contacted the village and action was taken to reseal the area around the clock base.
“It seemed to stop after that which was a relief. I was very concerned because it wasn’t just the store, it was making the clock itself rust,” Redmond said. She had also reached out to the insurance company for the village but did not get a response for nearly six months.
“The insurance person blamed the issues on our roof,” said Redmond. “But there’s no way it’s just the age of the roof.”
“The village administrator and I were there and saw the water firsthand,” mayor Darrin Lane said. He agreed that the village had some responsibility in adding to the weakening of the roof. “As a mayor I probably shouldn’t say that, but as a friend I think the village owes you for your stewardship of the clock over the years.”
The clock’s winding mechanisms are accessible from the upper floors of the store. To get into the tower and above, however, it must be approached from the roof of the building.
“So many workers have walked back and forth on that roof over time,” Redmond said. “People were walking basically the same pathway towards the clock to figure out what was going to need to be done to take the tower off and work on it.”
Fellow business owner, Jason Shumway, who was also present at the meeting and operates a construction company, said that the constant walking absolutely could play a part in the degradation. He explained that in addition to general puncturing of the roof surface, that constant weight in the same areas can pull the surface away from the edges where it’s fastened together.
Redmond had taken the issues to both her insurance company and the village’s and neither were willing to assist in paying for damages.
“Our insurance company wouldn’t pay anything because they said the village’s insurance company is liable,” she said. “So here we are stuck in the middle with no money.”
She added that she never intended to lay blame solely on the village and understood that in more than a century, a building would require a new roof. But she said the inaction has her in a tough spot. “I don’t think it’s the fault of one person necessarily so when I spoke with the village’s company, I was just hoping to get assistance.”
Redmond was approved for a $45,000 loan through Richwood on Monday to repair her roof but she said there’s still concern about the clock.
“That clock may be on top of our building, but it belongs to the village,” she said. “I don’t want anything to happen to it.”
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.