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Council approves repair of city hall clock
City hall clock
After one side of the clock on top of Cumming City Hall stopped working, officials learned that repairing the problem was more difficult than anticipated. City council is now taking steps to fix it. - photo by Jim Dean

It’s no secret that the large clock outside Cumming City hall does not tell the right time, but that could soon change.

On Tuesday, the Cumming City Council approved a bid to repair the large clock at city hall, which currently shows the wrong time on the side most easily seen by the community. Mayor Troy Brumbalow said it didn’t take long for him to hear from city residents about the clock.

“The second day I was in office I got called about the clock,” Brumbalow said. “I’ve been called many other times about the clock.”

City Administrator Phil Higgins said the total cost of repair would be about $5,350, which broke down to $2,750 for a new clock movement, $600 for labor and $2,000 to rent a crane.

“[The cost is] much cheaper than the original quote that we got to repair the clock last year,” Higgins said.

One issue with repairing the clock was the group that built it is no longer in business.

French-made Verdin clocks were first built at Cumming City Hall in 2002, which city employee Shad Faulkner said was a short lifespan for the clock to be having problems now.

“That’s actually kind of rare that it went out that quick,” Faulkner said.

When asked by members of the city council on Tuesday, Faulkner said only the side facing away from city hall needed to be replaced and the others were fine. 

“Every side of the clock has a … digital movement, basically it’s a motor that runs [the face,]” he said. “What happened with the front one is, there is a shaft,  I guess there is a bearing or something in the shaft that has [malfunctioned.] But we were able to find a movement for that.”

In 2009, the Forsyth County News reported the southeast face of the clock was running about 40 minutes behind the other three.  According to the article, Faulkner said at the time parts were too small to support the hands when the clocks were first added to the building.

That article also stated the wrong time was not noticed by some in the community at the time.

Patricia Sousey, who was in downtown Cumming on Thursday, said she had also never noticed the wrong time. 

“I think it’s pretty funny, I guess, that they wouldn’t have fixed it because it is pretty important,” she said.