Spring Ahead!

The time is approaching when clocks will need to be set forward an hour and all around Warren County businesses, churches, and other entities are preparing to make some necessary changes.

There are many factors that most people wouldn’t even consider when it comes to Daylight Saving Time, which begins at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10. For example, church bells, traffic lights, and outdoor clocks must be changed in order for the daily schedules to carry on without confusion.

Those familiar with Warren have most likely heard the bells chime at the First United Methodist Church on Market Street, but how many have thought of them when it comes to springing forward?

Each year, Cathie MacKenzie comes in early on Sunday and changes the timing on the bells. “It’s computerized,” she said. “I have an instruction manual that I follow and I go in early on that Sunday to make the changes. It’s not difficult, but they need to be changed so they don’t chime in the middle of the sermon. They are set up to shut off around 10 p.m. and not to chime during the 11 a.m. service on Sunday.”

In the City of Warren, it’s up to the Department of Public Works to ensure that all the traffic lights, flashing school zone lights and street lights are adjusted so they come on at the right time.

According to DPW Director Mike Holtz, it is Shawn Tutmaher who comes in early on Monday morning to make the necessary changes. “Shawn is our traffic mechanic and he comes in to make the changes. Most of it is done on a centralized panel here at City Hall, except for a few on the far end of the east side that are done individually.”

“The panel at the city building is part of a closed loop system,” added Susan Roach, a supervisor at PennDOT’s district office in Oil City. “A lot of the newer equipment is already pre-set for daylight saving time and the older ones that Shawn has to adjust manually are just older pieces of equipment.”

In addition, a couple of the notable clocks around the area that require adjusting are the Blair ‘New Process’ clock, which is handled by Todd Fitch, and the clock on the Warren County Courthouse, maintained by Ron Farnham and his maintenance crew.

“The clock will be off at some time on Saturday,” said Fitch. “Mike Smith, a maintenance manager, will come in and set it Sunday morning so it will be operational with the new time. The new system that we are putting in this year will do all that automatically.”

So, while the city prepares to spring ahead, don’t forget to change your clocks Saturday night.