Fate uncertain for replica clock that can't be fixed

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The tall black clock that stands between Ninth and 10th streets is officially dead.

Several attempts have been made to fix a clock that stands in the median of the 900 block of Broad Street. The insurance adjuster says it is a loss.  John Curry/Staff
John Curry/Staff
Several attempts have been made to fix a clock that stands in the median of the 900 block of Broad Street. The insurance adjuster says it is a loss.

Margaret Woodard, the executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, said the four-faced clock has been broken for the past six months.

Multiple attempts to fix it have failed and an insurance adjuster has declared it a loss, Woodard said Friday.

The clock is a replica of the original that stood outside the Georgia Railroad Bank and Trust building on the 1100 block of Broad Street. The original has been inside the Augusta Mall since the 1970s.

Woodard said the clock was sensitive to vibrations and frequently lost time as trucks rumbled down Broad Street. For a while it adjusted itself for the daylight saving time change, then it stopped doing that, too.

After daylight saving time was extended in 2007, Woodard or someone else would manually change the clock.

"There were all sorts of challenges," Woodard said.

Woodard had just learned Friday that the clock was officially busted, so she wasn't sure what plans, if any, would be made to replace it.

Other clocks in the area automatically adjust for the time change, too.

The clock atop North Augusta's government building, just across the 13th Street Bridge, is atomic and synchronized by radio waves with the U.S. government's atomic clock in Boulder, Colo.

In fact, there is no access to the clock tower from inside the building. A contracted company clambers up the building every six months to change the flags on top of the building, but the clock is inaccessible.

Any repairs would be "a major undertaking," said Tom Zeaser, the city's director of engineering and public works.

The clock in front of the Marriott Hotel & Suites has a curious history. Rick Acree, the assistant director of public service in Augusta, said someone lost the key to the face of that clock a decade ago. Instead of tampering and possibly damaging it, public works decided to turn off the clock for an hour in the fall and 23 hours in the spring to let the time catch up, Acree said.

In 2005, President George W. Bush signed a law that extended daylight saving time. Beginning in 2007, clocks rolled forward an hour on the second Sunday in March and rolled back the first Sunday in November.

Apparently, old habits die hard. The clock in the Richmond County Board of Education meeting room has been an hour behind for a week.

Spokesman Lou Svehla said the clock is manually set so it's likely a night shift janitor took the initiative. "Someone jumped the gun," he said.

Fall Back

Daylight saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, so be sure to set your clocks back one hour before you go to bed.

Comments (35) Add comment
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Ben There
56
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Ben There 11/06/10 - 01:27 am
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time to trash it and replace

time to trash it and replace it with something new and cutting edge!

GoGators2010
0
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GoGators2010 11/06/10 - 02:23 am
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It is difficult to believe

It is difficult to believe that the DDA can not find any company that can fix a clock. Maybe they should just put it on the same timer as the parking meters.

ConcernedTaxpayer
28
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ConcernedTaxpayer 11/06/10 - 05:20 am
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Why does everything have to

Why does everything have to be cutting edge? What's wrong with a little tradition. I guess I like old things cause I'm old. I also find it hard to believe that someone can't fix it, but maybe the cost would be prohibitive.

ColCo
703
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ColCo 11/06/10 - 05:35 am
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Since an insurance adjuster

Since an insurance adjuster has declared the clock a total loss, the DDA must already have a plan for the money they will receive for the claim. Evidently, it does not involve replacing the clock.

GoGators2010
0
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GoGators2010 11/06/10 - 05:38 am
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ConcernedTaxpayer - I'm sure

ConcernedTaxpayer - I'm sure they could get new guts for it for less than the cost of a few parking meters. Maybe they could put in a "card swipe" gizmo in to make it show the correct time only to those who paid......

augusta citizen
9099
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augusta citizen 11/06/10 - 07:39 am
0
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Why don't they donate it to

Why don't they donate it to the Augusta Museum of History and then use their funds to replace it? If they can afford 60,000.00 dollars for a parking meter study, then surely they can afford to replace this clock (with one that looks the same hopefully, it's very nice looking).

corgimom
31083
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corgimom 11/06/10 - 08:02 am
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Leave it! It's a beautiful

Leave it! It's a beautiful landmark and is a monument to Augusta history. Everyone knows it's broken, it still doesn't matter.

Riverman1
82168
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Riverman1 11/06/10 - 08:10 am
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The clock is a beautiful

The clock is a beautiful replica of a historic piece of Augusta. It's not that old and cost tens of thousands of dollars. We are amiss if we don't try to fix it with some type of new inner workings. It doesn't have to be the original guts, but any type electronic device that will simply keep the facade and the clock running. I'm surprised we would consider removing it after so few years.

InChristLove
22459
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InChristLove 11/06/10 - 08:38 am
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I agree with Riverman1, they

I agree with Riverman1, they need to replace the inner workings or just leave it like corgimom said. It's a beautiful clock and a piece of history.

Riverman1
82168
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Riverman1 11/06/10 - 09:06 am
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Maybe the Water Dept. workers

Maybe the Water Dept. workers should be given the task of fixing it. They seem to be pretty good at fixing time clocks.

dashiel
176
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dashiel 11/06/10 - 09:18 am
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Locally, Windsor Jewelers

Locally, Windsor Jewelers carries fine timepieces and Mr. Thompson is a very civic-minded gentleman. How hard would it be to ask him for a contact at a great watchmaking firm? Replace the workings (leave the setting intact) in exchange for having its brand on the clockfaces?

This would be a win-win for everybody except a firm wanting an expensive contract to do a study of a problem easily solved by someone whose intelligence isn't compromised by serving on a committee.

georgia.girl59
0
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georgia.girl59 11/06/10 - 09:19 am
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Sensitive to trucks?!! Even

Sensitive to trucks?!! Even if regular maintenance and insurance had been kept up, part of the problem may have been stopping it for use of its power by1st Friday Bands. Maggie will be happy when it is gone . . . .

egan01
0
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egan01 11/06/10 - 10:02 am
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Maby it is time to do away

Maby it is time to do away with the stupid idea called daylight savings time.

CATFISHSTEW
14
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CATFISHSTEW 11/06/10 - 10:27 am
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That clock can be fixed

That clock can be fixed period,and it won't be a waste of time in doing it.
Open it up and put four independent clock works in and set it twice a year when you have to.

CATFISHSTEW
14
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CATFISHSTEW 11/06/10 - 10:32 am
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Oh I forgot....they will have

Oh I forgot....they will have to do a study on how ,when and how much.
I have a clock with a face that big that runs on batterys and it keeps perfect time.

kenworth
0
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kenworth 11/06/10 - 10:34 am
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well i guess this would be to

well i guess this would be to lame but seeing as how the country is going green this is my idea . the clock is a great landmark with a good history. so they should take an advertisement bid to fix and replace the inners of the clock and allow that company to run their logo on the face of the clock with keeping it in the historic manner it is now. but instead of letting them hook it back into the city power grid whom ever does this must make the clock so it runs off of solar power. not really that big of a deal because they will have to change the inners of the clock anyhow. so free repair for advertising and a solar clock that doesnt cost the taxpayer. i know thats really lame. justs sayin.

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 11/06/10 - 10:58 am
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the DDA being involved, of

the DDA being involved, of course one couldn't expect the clock to work forever

GoGators2010
0
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GoGators2010 11/06/10 - 11:04 am
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Rm1 - LOL!!! at your 9:06am.

Rm1 - LOL!!! at your 9:06am. You've got my "post of the day" nomination.

dashiel
176
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dashiel 11/06/10 - 11:28 am
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I second that emotion, Gator.

I second that emotion, Gator. And besides they're still on the payroll!

Brad Owens
4285
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Brad Owens 11/06/10 - 01:06 pm
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The clock cost the tax payer

The clock cost the tax payer over $60,000.00 and there was a service plan paid for as well.

I complained about this saying it was a HUGE waste of tax monies and that it was NEVER on time. I took pictures that showed all four faces reading different times and was told I was a negative person, I guess the insurance company is negative too.

Maybe Deke can pray about it?

Brad

Little Lamb
45279
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Little Lamb 11/06/10 - 04:02 pm
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Prayer might be the answer,

Prayer might be the answer, Brad. I can see a candelight prayer vigil tonight (actually tomorrow morning at 2:00 a.m.) to seek a healing for the clock just as the time "falls back" to 1:00 a.m. to inaugurate our transistion to standard time. What a wonderful time to seek a clock healing!

Can anyone who is a Facebook friend of Deke contact him on Facebook and see if he will attend such a candelight vigil tonight and if he might lead a prayer for healing?

Little Lamb
45279
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Little Lamb 11/06/10 - 01:14 pm
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Kyle Martin

Kyle Martin wrote:

Apparently, old habits die hard. The clock in the Richmond County Board of Education meeting room has been an hour behind for a week. Spokesman Lou Svehla said the clock is manually set so it's likely a night shift janitor took the initiative. "Someone jumped the gun," he said.

Perhaps this night shift janitor should be questioned in the disappearance of the $25,000 from Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick's safe at the Marble Palace last January. He might have just a little bit too much initiative.

Brad Owens
4285
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Brad Owens 11/06/10 - 02:34 pm
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You mean Steve

You mean Steve "What-25grand-yu-takin-bout?" Kendricks? The Grand Poohbah of the Dirty Deals Authority?

LL, did you see my message about the $400,000.00 grant State to stablize the Depot behind the museum that seems to have never been spent? What happened to that money?

Little Lamb
45279
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Little Lamb 11/06/10 - 04:00 pm
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Good question, Brad. Perhaps

Good question, Brad. Perhaps the DDA is handing out bonuses to the staff with the grant money, because the asphalt shingles on the old Depot have not been replaced and the roof is leaking.

omnomnom
3964
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omnomnom 11/06/10 - 04:27 pm
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0
TIME STANDS STILL IN AUGUSTA.

TIME STANDS STILL IN AUGUSTA. Progress at any price? Heck, make it digital and have it sing the hallelujah chorus every hour. I'm speaking on behalf of Marion Williams here.

Little Lamb
45279
Points
Little Lamb 11/06/10 - 05:30 pm
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0
Here's a summary. Riverman

Here's a summary. Riverman wrote:

The clock is a beautiful replica of a historic piece of Augusta. It's not that old and cost tens of thousands of dollars. We are amiss if we don't try to fix it with some type of new inner workings. It doesn't have to be the original guts, but any type electronic device that will simply keep the facade and the clock running. I'm surprised we would consider removing it after so few years.

The following want to get rid of the clock:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Ben There
omnomnom
Brad Owens

The following want to repair and keep the clock:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
GoGators
Concerned Taxpayer
ColCo
augusta citizen
Corgimom
Riverman
InChristLove
dashiel
CATFISHSTEW
kenworth
Little Lamb

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 11/06/10 - 06:13 pm
0
0
LittleLamb, I didn't say I

LittleLamb, I didn't say I wanted the thing torn down or gotten rid of. I said I wasn't surprised it broke and can't get fixed with the DDA being involved and all. IMO let it sit there until a fundraiser can be held to repair it, (or a private company fixes it [they can have their name embossed ontop of downtown development authority]). I doubt any of the Broad St. merchants set their watches by it.

PWRSPD
0
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PWRSPD 11/06/10 - 11:53 pm
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0
Does the original clock still

Does the original clock still work?

Little Lamb
45279
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Little Lamb 11/06/10 - 07:21 pm
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Thanks for writing back and

Thanks for writing back and clearing that up, omnomnom. Your 10:58 post was not clear to me. I agree that private donations can get it fixed better than a Margaret Woodard governmental study group can.

egan01
0
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egan01 11/06/10 - 08:20 pm
0
0
The clock could probably be

The clock could probably be fixed for the price of four electric clock motors. they are not that expensive.

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