FRISCO — Despite calls from council members to tear down the Frisco Town Hall clock tower on Main Street, budget concerns will allow the little-loved structure to remain in place, for now.
Frisco officials quashed plans to demolish the clock tower during a relatively uneventful Town Council meeting Tuesday night, deciding not to move forward with the project due to apprehension surrounding the price tag and whether the structure could become useful sometime in the future as the town works to complete its 2020 Main Street Vision plan.
The issue arose most recently during a work session discussion on the relocation of the Excelsior House on Dec. 10, when the lawn adjacent to the tower was pitched as one of the potential landing spots for the historic house. Council members didn’t hold back when sharing their thoughts on the clock tower, with Dan Fallon voicing that it “has to disappear,” and Deborah Shaner jokingly calling for council members to take matters into their own hands and dismantle it with sledgehammers.
Though, tunes changed quickly during Tuesday’s meeting. Public Works Director Jeff Goble said the town received two bids for the demolition contract, including the recommended bid from Tasman Geosciences out of Colorado Springs, which said it could dismantle the tower for just under $40,000.
The high costs of the proposal, and knowing that new planning efforts are about to kick off for the area, was enough to curb some of the council’s distaste for the structure. It was Fallon and Shaner who ended up pushing back hardest against the proposal.
“I was one of the people who helped to initiate this review,” Fallon said. “(The tower) vexes me, but I don’t know if it $40,000-vexes me. It might make more sense if and when a more compelling use of that space becomes obvious. So I appreciate getting the bids, but I’m not on board to spend $40,000.”
“We’re in the middle of a Main Street master plan, and I just don’t understand why we’d be ripping stuff down out of budget when we may end up doing a lot of different things to this intersection,” Shaner added. “Why are we paying money for this just because somebody hates the clock tower? I think we should keep it up and address it in the master plan.”
This isn’t the first time the idea of knocking down the clock tower has made its way in front of town councilors. Goble said this was the third time in his memory that town staff has been asked to push out requests for proposals for its demolition.
“It has come up for discussion over the years,” said Vanessa Agee, Frisco’s marketing and communication’s director. “I think this was the right strategy to take on, to move this into the Main Street visioning process we’re going to do anyway.”
What happens then is up in the air. And some still might want to see the tower removed.
“For the record, I’d take it down,” council member Jessica Burley said.