The Atlanta City Council approved legislation Feb. 15 to study create a bottling and distribution business to employ youths who sell water at street corners and exit ramps.

The resolution requests the city’s chief financial officer to conduct a feasibility study for a “municipal enterprise” to create new revenue streams and establish a workforce development program aimed at creating middle-wage jobs.  

The proliferation of the so-called water boys during the pandemic led to a police crackdown on the illegal practice, especially after incidents of violence and intimidation of motorists who refused to buy water.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms convened an advisory council on the issue, which last year made a series of recommendations that included programs to develop and foster young entrepreneurs.

For more about the City Council’s actions at its Feb. 15 meeting, see coverage in Atlanta Intown.