A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

And once again, those tower clocks…

Written November 10th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

It was 10:45 a.m. Tuesday when this photo of Albany Station was taken.

Keeping the clocks in the tower at Albany Station showing the right time may prove to be harder than it should.

All the clocks had been wrong for some time, but then the Foress Sign Co. fixed them. That happened on Oct. 28. And just a few days ago the city reported that the bill for the repairs had been unexpectedly low, little more than $600.

But today (Tuesday, Nov. 10) reader Lindell Johnson let me know the the clocks were off again. It was she who had  pointed out the clock problem last month, prompting a little story on this site.

I went and checked, and sure enough, the clocks facing east, south and west were slow 10 to 15 minutes. Only the one pointing north, toward the Lyon Street underpass under Pacific Boulevard, had the correct time, which at the time I looked at it was 10:48.

I emailed the city to ask about this, and Tom Valentino, maintenance supervisor for city facilities, responded right away.

He went out and reset the three clocks that needed it. He told me he wasn’t sure what caused them to be slow. “We will keep an eye on them,” he said. “If they get off again I will call Foress back to look at them.”

The clocks are a nice feature. The Greater Albany Rotary Club donated $40,000 to have them added to the tower when it was built in 2007. Let’s hope they don’t turn into a continuing problem that defies being fixed. (hh)

I corrected the original version of this story, which as a commenter below pointed out had the wrong location for Foress Signs.


As the north-facing clock shows, it was 10:48 when I shot this photo against a cloudy sky.


7 responses to “And once again, those tower clocks…”

  1. thomas earl cordier says:

    The lesson is: “free money”, whether donated or taxpayers, may build something but ongoing maintenance costs will still be needed—forever; but mostly ignored when
    plans are started.

    • DSimpson says:

      I thought the lesson was– don’t buy crappy clocks.

      • Ginny J says:

        DSimpson – you are correct! I fear t.e. cordier has a more cynical view of our world. Go figure!

        • thomas earl cordier says:

          To Ginny and DS–no quality is not the issue. Everything has a time to fail and will need repair/replace. Businesses that succeed, plan and fund for life-cycle needs. The City typically does not appropriate funds for asset end-of-life which drives urgent Bond Measures. We really saw that during the fire station debate

          • hj.anony1 says:

            LOL. City always goes with the lowest bid. When will we learn?

            Couple HH stories back (this same theme) the city was SuRpRised how cheap it was.


  2. Cindy says:

    Foress Sign is out on Hwy 34 between Albany & Corvallis, not Eugene. Just FYI :-)

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Of course it is. I’m not sure where I got the idea about Eugene. I thought it came from an email when this started, but now I can’t find it so I may have just imagined it. Thanks for the correction.


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