By MADDY VITALE
The clock at Ninth Street and the Boardwalk in Ocean City has been a fixture since 1999. It is a well-known gathering spot, a location that sees thousands of summer tourists each day.
The distinct post clock with a Roman face painted in black with gold accents has a problem, though.
It doesn’t always work.
“The existing clock dates back to 1999 from a purchase standpoint and at this point is beyond the useful life cycle and in disrepair. In addition to the functional issues, there are also appearance issues with the clock,” a city memo reads to Ocean City purchasing manager Joe Clark from Steve Longo, manager of the city’s buildings and grounds.
A resolution for the replacement of the clock is on the agenda for the City Council meeting Thursday night. The estimated cost to replace the clock is $30,944. The funds are in the current capital budget, according to the memo.
Ocean City Public Information Officer Doug Bergen did not return messages Wednesday seeking comment about the clock.
If approved, City Council would authorize the award of a contract to The Verdin Company for replacement of the clock.
The Verdin Company, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, is described in Longo’s memo as a “175-year-old business that continues to be the industry leader in the production of the highest quality bells, clocks and towers around the world.”
It is the same company that installed the current clock. The existing foundation, post and wiring would be used for the new clock. The installation would be approximately 30 to 45 days after shipment.
The Verdin website www.verdin.com describes the post-style clocks as “timeless” and “elegant.”
“American street or post clocks were an early form of advertisement adapted from popular public clocks of Victorian England. They first appeared in the eastern United States about 1870. Then and now, street clocks stand out against buildings and signage, and are frequently placed in front of city halls, train stations, banks, jewelry stores, and other public locations,” the website says.
The company calls post clocks an “American Tradition.”
“It’s a symbol of our pride in workmanship, our stability, and our sense of community. The street clock is both a dignified reminder of our past and a legacy for the future,” Verdin says.