Watertown lawmakers could help bell to ring again

WWNY Watertown lawmakers could help bell to ring again

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It has stood silent for years, but Watertown City Council could agree to help get a downtown church tower to chime again.

When you venture into downtown Watertown, it’s one of the first things that catches the eye.

The clock tower at First Baptist Church is a staple and has been there for more than 150 years.

However, the bell inside the tower hasn’t rung on the hour in almost 4 years. It’s something that may change very soon.

“The resolution is about to come tonight, preferably and hopefully, and I have faith that it will,” said Jeffrey Smith, senior pastor.

Watertown leaders will consider a resolution to finish the repairs.

Mayor Jeff Smith says the bell’s ringing is something that the community has been missing.

“I think that the residents in general in the downtown community and people visiting downtown and just people visiting Watertown itself are going to be very happy to hear that bell going again,” he said.

It’s a fixer upper in progress as changes inside the clock tower are already underway.

The rod that connects the clock to the bell has already been replaced, but final fixes stopped earlier this year.

There was a misunderstanding between the church and the council over ownership and maintenance of the bell.

The bell used to be maintained by Knowlton Technologies but the company stopped doing it over concerns about the safety of climbing the tower.

The new resolution will allow Steven Massaro, the man who was already doing the repairs, to finish what he started.

“He has a passion for doing that so he is going to be our clock maker or clock worker. And so I’m just overjoyed with that, that we will have somebody who will maintain the bell,” said Pastor Smith.

Pastor Smith says if the resolution gets passed, Massaro can hopefully finish his repairs in the next few weeks.

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