Time and time again

City council to purchase new town clock

GRAND BLANC — Clockmakers in Cincinnati, Ohio, have begun to create the new timepiece that soon will stand in downtown Grand Blanc.

The clock that currently stands on the east side of Saginaw Street, just south of Grand Blanc Road, has withstood the elements and the test of time for 27 years since the family of former Mayor Paul Galuszka donated it in his memory.

Since then, it has become a sentimental element of local history.

“When we did our brand strategy, the clock was one of the iconic items people remember about the city,” said City Manager Wendy Jean-Buhrer. “We knew it was important to keep it the way it was. We also knew it really was time (to make a change).”

In recent years, the clock failed to keep proper time, leaving the City Council with a big decision: to repair the mechanisms, which could reveal a more costly problem, or replace the clock.

Ultimately, they chose the latter. However, the placard denoting the Galuszka family’s contribution will remain.

The $21,062 clock will come from the Verdin Co. and will feature the same Georgetown face as the current clock, but the stand will be changed to the sturdier, Howard style.

Councilmembers did not want to change it too much, out of respect to the clock’s legacy, Jean-Buhrer said.

That said, they opted to go with the black, rather than the green, with gold accents, for a “more elegant” look, she said.

Mayor Susan Soderstrom said she spoke with the former mayor’s son, and “he was thrilled” that the clock was not going to be removed and an empty space left.

“He had no problems with us replacing it,” Soderstrom said.

Jean-Buhrer said the Galuszka family was well-known and very active in the community.

“As we further dove into (the research), we found that it was the family and the community that raised the money for the clock,” she said. “They had T-shirt sales and people donated. It was a big, community effort. He (Mayor Paul Galuszka) was very beloved.”

She did not know when the clock will be delivered, or if there will be a dedication ceremony. The fate of the current clock remains undetermined, although there was some talk that it could wind up in the Heritage Museum.