By Lynda Jensen
DASSEL, MN After a two-year wait, the clock tower along Highway 12 in Dassel is up and operational, as of Tuesday.
The project is the fruit of many hands, since several were involved in its making, starting with the clock atop the structure.
The clock portion was donated to the Dassel Chamber of Commerce by American Time & Signal about two years ago, commented ATS production supervisor Pat Miller.
“The clock itself uses LED low-maintenance lighting that lasts for about 100,000 hours,” Miller commented.
In fact, American Time & Signal was willing to update the clock to incorporate the new Dassel logo rooster graphic, Administrator Myles McGrath said.
On the face of the clock, Herald Journal printed the dials with an adhesive backed vinyl, which is then put on the acrylic blank dial or face, Miller noted. “It takes about eight hours to build one clock,” she added.
American Time & Signal has been building this type of clock since around 1995.
When the clock tower idea first surfaced, the idea was to raise money to purchase a digital message board to insert under the clock, to share news and announcements with the community and travelers passing through. This changed over time.
“The electronic message board is still ultimately the goal, but will not become a reality under any current financial scenarios,” McGrath said.
Currently, the message board will use magnetic letters to communicate messages.
Porta Dock of Dassel did all of the fabrication of aluminum frame portions of the clock tower, with a small amount of sheet metal work being sent out to a company in Cokato, McGrath noted.
Jeremy Freyholtz of Porta Dock drew up the original plans, which featured a rounded dome, although these changed.
“Myles and I tried several different metal fabricators, but none were able to do the curved aluminum within our budget,” commented Council Member Bob Wilde.
“David Mages was one who, for a bit, thought he was going to be able to do it,” Wilde added. “As he looked into it further, he was not able to keep it in our budget either.”
“We have opted for a powder-coated steel box, and magnetic lettering for now,” Wilde commented. “We may also eventually add Jeremy’s aluminum design,” he added.
The brick work was donated by AAA Developers.
The clock tower is a two-legged 14-foot tall tower, with two columns of brick that are about 5 feet apart.