It's time to get Bay's clock ticking again

Eileen Vernon, president of The Bay Village Foundation, announces a grant for the City Hall clock during the Nov. 3 council meeting. Photo by Denny Wendell

Bay residents, would you like our city's clock to be right more than twice a day? The subject of our clock repair was brought up at a recent City Council meeting. I attended the 100-year recognition ceremony at the council meeting on Monday, Nov. 3. The room was filled to capacity.

As part of the meeting, I had the honor of presenting a $6,000 grant from the Bay Village Foundation to start a fund to repair the city clock. The Foundation’s goal is to raise an additional $12,000 from private donations for a total of $18,000.

This particular City Council meeting included the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the first council meeting at the Bay Village City Hall on Nov. 3, 1914. The eastern portion of City Hall facing Dover Center Road was constructed in 1914 (at a cost of $8,000!).

The clock tower was built by the city’s service department in 1990, using funds donated by the Bay Village Women's Club. However, the City Hall clock has not worked for several years. Steve Lee, a Bay councilman-at-large and Foundation trustee, suggested that the clock was damaged during Superstorm Sandy in October 2012.

"The City has determined the clock is not repairable and needs to be replaced," Councilman Lee told the Bay Village Foundation board of trustees. "The replacement clock is expensive because of the size and gearing required to simultaneously operate four separate clock faces. … There are very few suppliers of clocks of this size and complexity."

Scott Thomas, the city’s service director, said there is extensive damage to the clock’s components. "There are many inner workings of the clock that need replaced, including the hands of the clock," Thomas said. "We have been in touch with a company from Indiana that comes highly recommended. The company has done work in other cities in Ohio. It would be great to have the clock running properly and looking great."

We are asking our Bay Village residents to contribute toward the clock replacement or repair. We need to raise the funds within the next few months so that we can have our clock up and running for Bay Days in 2015 to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the Bay Village Foundation.

"Since the project was announced, a $5,000 donation has been received from an anonymous donor, in addition to the Bay Village Foundation's $6,000 grant," Mayor Debbie Sutherland said. "The Bay Village Historical Society has also offered to contribute. We have been getting quotes and think we will need around $25,000 to replace the clock with state-of-the-art equipment that includes beautiful LED lighting."

Please consider making a donation. Checks should be made payable to The Bay Village Foundation (please write "clock repair" on the memo line), and send it to P.O. Box 40122, Bay Village, Ohio 44140. Contributions of $25 or more will be acknowledged in writing for your records. The Bay Village Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Volunteer trustees have been working to support non-sectarian projects for nearly 20 years. Our purpose is to maintain Bay Village as one of the best places to live in the nation.

"The City Hall clock tower is a landmark in town and we are grateful for the contributions from our wonderful civic groups and residents, making it possible to not only repair but enhance a symbol of our community," Sutherland said.

Eileen Vernon

President of The Bay Village Foundation. Retired lawyer. Resident of Bay for over 30 years.

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Volume 6, Issue 23, Posted 10:35 AM, 11.11.2014