Snohomish businessman wants to sell 17-foot-tall clock

SNOHOMISH — For more than five years, a 17-foot-tall clock has decorated the entrance of the Legends Antiques &Clocks store in historic downtown Snohomish.

The clock’s time for impressing people on First Street appears to be coming to an end.

Its owner, David Doto, is seeking a buyer before he retires in the next couple of years.

“I’m planning ahead,” said Doto, 63. “I want to find a good place with people that accept it.”

Doto values the clock at $90,000. But before offering it to collectors or organizations, Doto has to offer it to Snohomish first. The city has the right of first refusal.

And it seems the city would need time before deciding whether to buy.

Doto first offered the clock more than a year ago, but City Manager Larry Bauman said at the time the city couldn’t afford it.

Doto met again with Bauman recently, and the city manager said he isn’t ready to commit either way.

He first needs to hear from the City Council, perhaps at Tuesday’s meeting.

“The city has not budgeted funds to buy the clock,” Bauman said. “It’s a question of priorities.”

Doto spent about a year restoring, repainting and getting necessary permits to install the clock on First Street. With four faces, or dials, it’s a rarity, he said.

The clock is one of two street clocks downtown. The second is a block west and features two dials.

Doto has seen people taking pictures next to his clock, and he has even received calls from people in California and the East.

Maintenance would not be hard, he said. The clock needs rewinding once a week and needs to be oiled every four months. It’s easy to learn how, he said.

Doto, however, won’t be able to keep that up after he retires from 19 years of owning the store in Snohomish.

“I need to slow down. It’s time to move on,” he said.

If Snohomish declines to buy the clock, he is planning to approach other cities, museums or private buyers.

By selling the clock, Doto can focus on his retirement plans.

“It’s too important to walk away from it,” he said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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