BEND, OR -- The city of Bend will remove all four downtown drinking fountains. Economic Development Director Carolyn Eagan tells KBND News the city made the decision after the Downtown Bend Business Association asked them to look at making repairs. "When we checked, we found out the fountains are not all working, and really would be too expensive to repair them. But, the deeper issue was that all of the fountains were not connected to the city's water system in the way we want them to be connected."
The fountains are located at the corners of Wall and Oregon, Bond and Oregon, Minnesota and Bond and Minnesota and Oregon.
The city is not in a position to bring them up to modern plumbing standards. "This wasn't a planned expense to continue to maintain these fountains. Let's take them out, let's repair the sidewalk. And let's continue to work with the Downtowners to figure out what are the best amenities that we should be offering to downtown shoppers, downtown employees and downtown businesses." Eagan says there are a number of ideas being tossed around, "One of them that has been identified by a number of people - not necessarily through any significant study - but, we need some more bike parking downtown. So, that could be an opportunity on those corners. I think there may still be some interest in having some sort of drinking fountain amenity, if that could be provided. And then there are other things that we can be looking at on those corners, maybe to use them more effectively."
Crews will begin taking out the fountains during the early morning hours of Monday, November 30 through Wednesday, December 2.