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Thu, Feb. 20

Weather causes some plaza trees to briefly go dark

PRESCOTT - Recent wet weather reportedly has interfered with the Christmas lights at the Yavapai County Courthouse Plaza.

Prescott Chamber of Commerce Executive Director David Maurer said Tuesday that wet conditions on the ground had tripped the GFIs (ground fault interrupt) on a number of lighted trees on the plaza, causing the lights to go out.

"The GFIs trip during wet weather," Maurer said, adding that the situation is unavoidable, because "the plugs are at the base of the tree."

Reports have indicated that anywhere from five to 13 of the more than 40 lighted trees went dark in recent days.

The lights were out for about five days, Maurer said. Although the maintenance of the lights is a part of the contract that the Chamber has with the consulting firm, Christmas Lights Decorators, a combination of scheduling issues caused the delay in getting the lights fixed, he said.

After discussing the matter with the lighting consultant and with county workers, Maurer said, "The county was working on them today. Presumably, they've got them reset."

However, he was uncertain about how this week's wet weather would affect the lights.

"Every year, not everything works perfectly every night," he said.

After the snowstorm two weeks ago, Maurer said the consultant sent workers to Prescott within a couple of days to fix the immediate problems.

This year's contract with Christmas Light Decorators totals $53,502, which covers putting up and tearing down the strands of lights around trees on the plaza, plus the Statehood Tree.

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