The West Tisbury selectmen have found a solution for displaying the former bell from the Dukes County Academy.

Selectman Kent Healy said this week he had tracked down the bell and drafted a display plan.

The bell formerly hung above an addition to the academy near today’s town hall; the addition was moved to the Whiting property sometime in the 1920s. The Whiting family donated the bell to the town about five years ago, and it was put into storage and forgotten.

At a meeting two weeks ago the selectmen discussed the idea of putting the bell on display at the town hall. But first the bell had to be located — no one was exactly sure where it had been stored.

Mr. Healy led the detective work. The bell was found in a storage unit where the town highway department keeps a shed for road salt.

At the selectmen’s meeting Wednesday, Mr. Healy reported that the bell is much smaller than collective memory served, only weighing about 170 pounds and standing smaller than two feet.

“I can lift it up,” he said.

“So it’s just this little thing,” said selectman Cynthia Mitchell. Five years of storage had inflated the bell in town memories.

“Much like everything, as time passes, it’s gotten smaller,” said town administrator Jennifer Rand. “I remember this being much bigger.”

Mr. Healy showed a sketch for a temporary support he had designed for the bell: two locust posts with a steel rod suspending the bell between them. After some discussion, the selectmen agreed the bell should be displayed between the two trees out in front of the town hall. Mr. Healy and Ms. Mitchell peered through the blinds on a window in the selectmen’s meeting room on the second floor of town hall to identify the best location for the bell. They selected the green space in between the road and the curving town hall bus stop.

Mr. Healy said the bell had a lovely ringing sound.

“We could have a little wooden hammer to tap it,” he said.

There was some concern about the noise becoming a nuisance, but Mr. Healy and Mr. Manter were in favor of people being able to ring the bell.

The display solution must first be approved by the historic district commission. Once that happens, Mr. Healy will be looking for volunteers to help dig holes for the locust posts.

In other business, the selectmen also gave approval for the police department to add an overnight shift to retain an officer who was previously used for duty at the airport. Airport management wants to reduce officers from two to one from October through April. Police Chief Daniel Rossi said he had reworked the budget to add an overnight shift from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

“The town is certainly going to need it, and this would make the police department more proactive during those hours instead of reactive,” he said.

If the overnight patrol shift is not added, Mr. Rossi said they would have to let the officer go. He said he felt it was important to retain young officers on the force and that the new position would reduce overtime costs.

“I look at the younger staff members as being the future of West Tisbury police department,” he said. “Retention is key on the Island, all you have to do is look at other Island towns, they have vacancies they can’t fill.”