Tourism Commission updating temperature monitor for carriage horse (updated: major setback)

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Update August 16: After Rees Scientific Corporation backed out from providing a new thermometer system to accurately gauge heat on the City Market streets, the move to update the monitoring system for carriage tour operators has been pushed back until some time in 2012.

The Post and Courier has the update.

Update August 3: Charleston City Council, in the meeting of July 19th agreed to a trial period of monitoring the air temperature using equipment provided by Rees Scientific Corporation. Rees Scientific Corporation was to provide a new system to complement the existing WeatherBug System to monitor air temperature downtown in regard to the carriage horses.

The temperature is used to determine when the horses are taken off the street due to excessive heat. Rees Scientific Corporation has withdrawn from this project and will not provide a system for the City of Charleston. The City will continue to research other weather companies to find an alternative to the existing system. 

First reporting: Carriage tours are certainly some of the most popular attractions in Charleston, and the Tourism Commission is doing all it can to ensure that these tours aren't at the expense of the horses.

It's no secret that the temperatures have been insanely hot lately here in the Lowcountry, and this has some worried about the wellbeing of the carriage tour horses. At the City Council meeting on Tuesday, the Tourism Commission proposed some changes to the horse carriage operating standards dealing specifically with animal welfare and temperature monitoring.

Currently, Charleston has two thermometers that horse carriage operators use to determine when to close tours. The most used one is three stories high above Calhoun Street and is an inaccurate read of the temperatures on the ground. The new city law proposes placing a new temperature monitoring device at the corner of Market and Church streets by August 15th.

And some carriage operators aren't thrilled about the proposed changes. While they care about their horses, they are worried that changing the temperature monitoring standards will hurt their business. 

Ultimately, City Council has decided to install a temperature gauge on Market to get a temperature reading that will be more accurate for where in the city the animals work. The data will be reviewed at next month's meeting, and the ordinance will be voting on again.

Get the full scoop from this article in The Post and Courier, and be sure to watch the video report up top if you haven't already.

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