Like so many other structures beaten and battered by Superstorm Sandy, it took months – even an entire year – to rebuild or replace.
The same goes for the sign on East Mill Road promoting businesses at the Long Valley Professional Center, which folded like a house of cards from the devastating storm’s intense winds.
A year to the week after the most damaging storm in township history swept through the area, a new sign has been erected, bigger and stronger than ever.
With a sign comes a piece of history as well. Businesses in the plaza agreed on the design of the sign, which is topped off by a clock for passersby to see.
It is, according to one local historian, the town’s first public clock.
“I would have to say that I am not aware of any other public clocks in the district over the years as none of the church steeples incorporated them, nor the railroad station which was also often a source for a public clock,” Historic Preservation Commission member Eileen Stokes said.
The sign did not need approval from the Historic Preservation Commission because the location falls outside the German Valley Historic District, Stokes said. It was created by Sign-It Signs, owned by John Gonsalves of Long Valley.
Topped off with the words “Valley Professional Center,” the sign offers 26 slots for business names and is wired for lighting. The finishing touches on landscaping around the base of the sign were being completed early in the week.
The sign and its construction was paid for through the individual business’s fees and dues to the complex.
A public clock is not foreign for other municipalities, as neighboring towns Chester Borough and Hackettstown boast timepieces on their respective main streets.
What do you think of the new sign and clock? Is it better than the old one? Do you like the clock?