EDIT: SOUNDS LIKE WE MAY HAVE VICTORY, EVERYONE! See the story below. THANKS FOR SIGNING!
Recently the City of Austin, TX informed Rogue Running/Rogue Equipment, RunTex, and other businesses that they could no longer place water in coolers for public consumption without an expensive permit. Rather than bowing to common sense and allowing the coolers to stay in place (they have been there for years), the city is trying to extract fees from the same businesses who are providing this water free of charge and freshly stocked and chilled. Water fountains along the lake are notorious for being out of service, and these coolers quench the thirsts of pedestrians and athletes alike throughout the year. They are vital and an institutional part of the lake.
This petition seeks to rectify that, and will be delivered to Mayor Lee Leffingwell who is urged to keep his bureaucrats at bay and give his blessing to the continued presence of these incredibly beneficial water coolers.
Parks and Recreation has vaguely stated that the coolers could pose a health hazard, and indeed there have been extremely rare instances of vandalism or tampering, but the benefits of these far outweigh any risks. They are publicly located, and in constant view of people. The logic here does not hold up. If the city is worried about liability, then perhaps a disclaimer sign on a stick is necessary.
Meanwhile: E-mail your council members! Direct contact is vastly more effective than any online petition. Light them up, even with a short message, and perhaps Sara Hensley of PARD will fold when pressured by elected officials.
We, the undersigned respectfully request allowing businesses to provide water coolers at Austin Parks without health department intervention or permits. The coolers provide a vital public service with their fresh, chilled water, particularly during summer months. The absence of these decreases the well being of the city, particularly because CoA water fountains are often found to be in a poor state of repair, lacking necessary flow rates, or poorly insulated against temperatures.
Restore the laissez-faire approach to the coolers.