Clock needs repairs

FAIRMONT – You know what they say about a broken clock – it’s right two times a day!

It’s an old joke, especially for people who live or work near Citizen Park on Downtown Plaza in Fairmont, where the community clock’s hands have been at a standstill for some time.

This week, the City Council talked about pitching in $2,500 to fix the clock – if citizens first raised the rest. Donors Sue and Don Anderson pledged $1,000 for the cause, which would have left $1,800 for the public to donate. The cost would pay for the manufacturer to replace the inner mechanisms with a new digital system.

The council, however, decided since the clock was purchased about 10 years ago with private funds, it should be maintained with private funds.

“I don’t want to be a Scrooge,” said Councilman Terry Anderson. But he pointed out that money is tight, and since the clock belongs to the community, “the city should stay out of it.”

City administrator Mike Humpal said he had been approached by several individuals about fixing the clock, which is why he made the proposal to the council on Monday.

“This will be a good opportunity for the community to step up,” Anderson said.

Councilman Chad Askeland agreed, noting the response to a plea for funds will help gauge how much interest the community has in fixing the clock. Askeland admitted he walks by Citizen Park regularly and has not noticed the clock wasn’t working.

Humpal said people can drop off donations at City Hall or call (507) 235-9461 for more information. Donations are tax-deductible.