CHARLESTON — City officials and a representative from Rees Scientific met with members of the carriage tour industry to discuss a new thermometer that will dictate when conditions outside get too hot for horses to work.
Charleston chief information officer Wes Ratterree revealed that the new device will be installed on a City Market building at Market and Church streets no later than Aug. 15. He said the city would provide email alerts to tour companies and also a website where the public can monitor conditions outside.
Carriage tour operators must take their horses off the streets when the temperature outside hits 98 degrees. They soon must check the animals’ temperatures when conditions outside reach 85 degrees, an update from the current 90-degree rule.
That could spell a huge increase in the amount of time the operators spend monitoring horses. The National Weather Service reports that the temperature reaches 90 degrees or higher 55 days a year at Charleston International Airport but that it hits 85 degrees or warmer more than twice as often — 117 days a year.
City officials currently rely on a thermometer on the roof of a three-story building at 113 Calhoun St. for the official reading. Council on Tuesday gave the nod to spend about $3,800 on the new device, which will capture temperatures closer to where the animals actually work. It will be mounted approximately at horse height. The new thermometer will record readings every 17 seconds and email data as requested.
Officials will check thermometers at both the Calhoun Street and City Market locations for several months to evaluate the new site. Read more in Friday’s editions of The Post and Courier.
Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594.