The Town of Stephenville has been receiving complaints about street lights out on Main Street and it’s an issue the Stephenville Downtown Business Improvement Area (BIA) has been working on for some time.
Ian Stokes, president of the BIA, said there has been a continuous issue with water getting in the heads of the street lamps on both sides of the street and causing circuit boards to burn out.
When the new lamps on the south side of the street were installed, LED technology was used and it was decided to switch out the other side, which originally went in seven years ago with the same technology.
Eli White, account manager with Guillevin International Company out of Corner Brook, which supplied the lamps through Cyclone Lighting, explained that the north side lamps — which had metal-halide bulbs — worked great for a number of years until they were switched to the LED retrofitted lamps.
White said the manufacturer is trying to fix an engineering defect in the lamps, which have an (Ingress Protection) IP-65 rating that would be OK in some environments, but not in Newfoundland with wind-driven sleet, rain and snow.
White said a number of LED boards in the lights have been fixed, but Stokes said the problem now is that the parts for them are obsolete.
Cylcone Lighting is going to honour the warranty for the more recent lamps on the south side of Main Street and replace them at no cost to the Stephenville BIA with a new IP-66 rated fixture that should handle the local environment.
White said the new heads for the lights are expected to arrive early in the new year.
Stokes said when the heads are replaced on the south side of the street, other working heads from the north side will be utilized until they are eventually able to get those replaced.
He said to his knowledge there are seven lights not working, and according to how many burn out, there could be some areas on the north side of Main Street in the dark this winter.
In addition to straightening out the lighting on Main Street, Stokes said the BIA plans to continue the street light project and go down Zion Drive to Prince Rupert Drive, where they will extend the length of that street on the north side.
Mayor Tom Rose sees the lighting issue as a major safety concern and said poor lighting can lead to vehicle accidents, the risk of vandalism and break-ins.
He said the sooner this problem can be dealt with, the better.