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Like clockwork

Local clock dedicated in downtown Lewistown

Sentinel photo by ERIN THOMPSON
The clock now standing at the ‘banking corner’ of Brown and Market streets was donated to Lewistown by local resident Mike Buffington.

LEWISTOWN — Mike Buffington saw an opportunity to help Downtown Lewistown Inc. with its vision of returning the clock to the “banking corner” of East Market and North Brown streets.

Coming off the redevelopment of the Five Points corner involving the demolition of the deteriorated and long vacant Headings Drugstore, subsequently transforming the corner into the town asset of Fountain Square Park, DLI was next looking at fundraising for the clock.

COVID-19 complicated efforts with emphasis of community development organizations shifting to assist current businesses to stay in operation and augment their market strategies. Likewise, DLI was facing its own needs to raise funds to maintain operations while providing the staff capacity to assist local governments and businesses with finding dollars for a host of economic development projects.

Enter Mike Buffington, local entrepreneur, property and business owner who saw a clock advertised for sale nearby. Mike purchased the piece, had it returned to operating condition and painted to match the existing streetscape elements in town.

“It has been great to see the community’s excitement to have a clock on Market Street once again and acknowledge the efforts of Dan Wilson of D & D Auto Repair who cleaned and painted the piece,” Buffington said.

Jim Zubler, DLI Executive Director and John Pannizzo, site developer, had worked with the construction company for the CVS facility, JC BAR Development, during construction to place conduit and infrastructure in the sidewalk to support the clock’s placement.

Redundancies were incorporated into the sidewalk to draw power from either CVS or the Borough of Lewistown’s street lighting system. Additionally, DLI funded in-sidewalk redundancies at another location prior to the “banking corner” becoming available. Mike worked with local entrepreneur Bryson Wagner to fashion an adaptive frame to anchor the stand-in clock to the existing support infrastructure and the Borough Street Department personnel on logistics.

Local company Mifflin County Wireless and GBT Cloud are providing 24/7 security camera coverage for the site as well as on-street surveillance.

“Projects like this don’t happen overnight and require planning and support from others,” Buffington said. “It takes everyone doing their part to better the communities we call home. I am grateful for everyone that helped make this clock project possible.”

“Mike is a great stakeholder to work with as he maintains his properties in a meticulous manner, not on speculation, helping business owners and entrepreneurs to find space for their ventures in town,” Zubler said. “The Buffingtons as a whole have the community’s interest front and center as Sara coordinates the Adopt A Planter program among other assists.”

Mike acknowledged the borough’s help with moving planters and doing whatever was necessary to install the clock itself.

Maybe one day the replica four dial Seth Thomas clock will once again grace the “banking corner” but until that time, an attractive understudy will complement the downtown streetscape.

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