Texas’ state capital is exploring plans to install ten new public drinking fountains downtown.
The cost to taxpayers? About $750,000 up front and an additional $63,000 annually for ongoing maintenance, which includes hiring a full-time employee.
Greg Meszaros, Austin water director, released a memo detailing the project, which will consist of stations that include a drinking fountain, bottle-filling station, and pet fountain.
"Costs at each location include the fountain unit, water service, wastewater service, installation, permitting, engineering and project management costs," the memo says. "The estimate was vetted by the Engineering Services Division of Public Works Department."
The ADA-compliant fountains would be free to use 24/7 and would be located in well-lit areas, the memo says. It includes a map of proposed locations for the fountains.
Texas Scorecard notes that the project comes after the city council recently approved another tax increase. The current median city tax bill is $700 more than it was a decade ago.
The city council has yet to vote on the fountains. If the project gets the green light, the 2020 budget could handle the costs, according to Austin Water.