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Let there be light for Rotary Park clock

At Rotary Park, it's time to let the light shine. And to let time itself shine, as well. Since the park's creation in 2005, there's been a four-sided manual clock that displays the time at the corner of Main Street and Seventh Avenue. But for muc...

The rotary clock at the Southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and North Main Street recently was recently upgraded by Muth Electric to illuminate at night. (Matt Gade / Republic)
The rotary clock at the Southwest corner of Seventh Avenue and North Main Street recently was recently upgraded by Muth Electric to illuminate at night. (Matt Gade / Republic)

At Rotary Park, it's time to let the light shine. And to let time itself shine, as well.

Since the park's creation in 2005, there's been a four-sided manual clock that displays the time at the corner of Main Street and Seventh Avenue. But for much of the last decade, that clock has not been illuminated.

Thanks to the efforts of Mitchell's chapter of Rotary International and a local business, the lights are now shining.

"It's been a good chance for us to put a little life into it," said Pat Clark, a member of the Rotary Club of Mitchell. "It needed some updating."

The park is located near the Corn Palace and across the intersection from the Pepsi-Cola Theatre for the Performing Arts. On a dark day, Clark said, most people may not have realized the clock was there without the lighting, and he estimated the bulbs in the light went out soon after the clock was installed.

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Muth Electric entered the picture recently when it heard about the project. When it was mentioned that the Rotary chapter was looking to get the lighting going after about a decade of dormancy, Paul Muth, the company's co-president, worked up a quick fix for the clock.

"We originally put the lights up (when it was first installed)," Muth said. "We mostly just changed the lighting out and put in the LED lighting. It wasn't a huge project, but it was an update."

The toughest part of the project, Clark said, was disassembling and reassembling the clock itself. Clark was effusive in his praise of the efforts from Muth Electric.

"They deserve the credit," Clark said. "They took the initiative to fix it and make it happen."

The project is also good timing for the Mitchell Rotary, which during 2018 is celebrating its 100th year of serving the community.

The park itself is a partnership between Rotary and the city of Mitchell, which retook ownership of the ground following construction of the park. Rotary pays for any improvements and the Mitchell Gardening Club volunteers to maintain the flowers and plants at the park.

Both Clark and Muth acknowledged it's a small upgrade, but one that gives the park an updated look. Considering the improvements made with lighting upgrades at the Corn Palace recently, the Rotary Park clock can now be shown off, as well.

"Most people probably tell time with their phones," Clark said. "But it looks good if you're downtown."

Traxler is the assistant editor and sports editor for the Mitchell Republic. He's worked for the newspaper since 2014 and has covered a wide variety of topics. He can be reached at mtraxler@mitchellrepublic.com.
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