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Stonefield Terrace

Stonefield Terrace Streetlights
Posted on Oct 13th, 2015

UPDATE 10/22
Working with Nickles Electric, we have developed a plan to address the streetlight issues that we are experiencing.  Nickles will begin working on identifying and correcting the faulty wiring that is the source of these issues next week.  You can expect to see them digging holes in various places around Stonefield Terrace and North Oak Grove drive as they locate, inspect, and if necessary, replace the underground wiring that feeds the streetlights in that area.
You may have noticed that it has been rather dark around Stonefield Terrace over the past couple of nights.  Yes, the streetlights are out again!
It was about the same time last year when our problematic streetlight system failed.  At that time, after some extensive checking, it was determined that the cause of the outage was the last light in the circuit, which was the streetlight on Oak Grove Drive across from John Olson.  To keep the rest of the lights on, this last light was disconnected.  This did succeed in keeping the rest of the lights on over the winter, but it was quite dark in the area around the disconnected streetlight.
This spring, working with a new Electrical Contractor, we figured out a way to reconnect this streetlight on Oak Grove Drive.  At the same time, we replaced our aging and energy-inefficient halogen streetlights with modern energy efficient LED streetlights.  The reconnected light and and new streetlights worked well and provided more light than we had previously.  We are realizing significant savings in electrical cost each month as a result of the change to the LED lights.
Late this summer, the streetlight on Stonefield Terrace started acting erratically.  It would be lit on some nights and off on others.  We have had our electrical contractor (Nickles Electric) out to look at this light and they have attempted some repairs to the wiring that they believe is feeding this location (no one knows for sure, there is no wiring diagram for the streetlights).  Nickles has done this work at no cost to us.
Recently, the Stonefield Terrace streetlight has gone more or less permanently dark.  Nickles believes, through testing that they have performed, that there is a partial, or possibly complete, break in the wiring that feeds this light.  They have provided a proposal to run new wiring to this location from one of the other light poles, however, to do this requires the use of an expensive underground boring machine to get under the driveways between the SFT light and the nearest working light, so their initial proposal came in at something over $8,000.
We are requesting that Nickles work with us to determine if there are alternate, less costly options to re-energize the light on Stonefield Terrace.  We expect to be meeting with them in the next few days.  We will update this posting with the results of these discussions with Nickles.
Meanwhile, it now appears that the entire system is being brought down by a short somewhere in the wiring.  Whether this is due to continuing deterioration of the wiring for the light on SFT or from some other cause is unknown at this time.  We have additionally requested assistance from Nickles to get the streetlight system back up, as it is very dark around here without the streetlights and the dark part of the year is approaching.
In short, there are more unknowns than knowns at this point, except that we know for a certainty that our streetlight system is old, was poorly designed when it was installed,  has been compromised by excavations by other contractors and utility workers, and has been a source of chronic headaches for the association for many years.  We will do our best to get the lights back on (all of them!) at the best possible cost and with an eye to not throwing good money after bad.