The Biddeford City Hall clock tower is pictured in a video taken about a year ago using Deputy Fire Chief Paul LaBrecque’s drone. City officials hope the video will help convince voters to approve a bond in November that would pay for the restoration of the 120-year-old clock tower.

The Biddeford City Hall clock tower is pictured in a video taken about a year ago using Deputy Fire Chief Paul LaBrecque’s drone. City officials hope the video will help convince voters to approve a bond in November that would pay for the restoration of the 120-year-old clock tower.

BIDDEFORD — On Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to add a $2.27 million bond for improvements to City Hall, including repairs to its historic clock tower, to the November ballot.

Now, city officials are mounting a campaign to convince voters, who have twice rejected bonds to pay for the work, to approve it come Election Day. One tool they are using is a video filmed about a year ago with Deputy Fire Chief Paul LaBrecque’s drone that illustrates the 120-year-old clock tower’s extensive deterioration from a bird’s-eye view.

“It came out pretty well,” Phil Radding, the city’s facilities manager, said of the video Thursday.

Radding showed the seven-minute video – which clearly shows the clock tower’s rotting wood panels, broken weathervane and scarcely guilded dome – to city officials and an audience of about 50 people at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

“We’re now at the point where we really need to take a look at passing this bond and getting this fixed,” Radding told councilors, before holding up two wooden pieces that had fallen off of the tower and onto the street below.

Radding said the work that would be done if the bond passes could ensure the tower’s preservation for another 50-100 years.

“We’d like to see it be as close to historically correct as possible with the best possible materials,” he added.

City councilors agree that now is the time to approve the bond – especially given the fact that bond interest rates are currently very low.

“It’s really one of the things that we have in the city now that needs to get done,” said Councilor Marc Lessard.

In November, Biddeford voters will also be asked to approve a $5.99 million bond for road work and a $3.925 million bond for sewer work, and councilors hope these bonds will also pass.

— Staff Writer Angelo J. Verzoni can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or [email protected]


Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: