Parents’ feelings mixed on ban against outside food at splash pad

Local News

Some parents visiting a popular Longview park feature have said a rule approved earlier this year rubs them the wrong way.

“I think they are trying to make a profit off of everything,” said Kambry Cox, a Carthage parent who takes her 2-year-old son Kellen to the Jack M. Mann Splash Pad. “Some people are less fortunate. It’s summertime, and some people can’t afford to go on vacation. The splash pad can be some people’s vacation, but they want to charge for every single little item.”

According to our newspaper partner Longview News-Journal, on Jan. 25, Longview City Council members banned outside food or beverages from being permitted at the Mann Splash Pad. The rule change came almost two years after a concession stand was added to the complex at Lear Park.

“The main reason was for cleanliness of the facility,” city Parks Director Scott Caron said Tuesday. “We had people that were bringing in coolers, and they would have all kinds of food and drink with them, and they’d have big bags of chips, and the kids would rip into the bag, and trash would land all over the place.”

Cox said the rule is a hardship on low-income families who can’t afford the concession stand.

“If you take a 2-year-old to something like that, even if you could bring outside drinks, if there’s a concession stand there, he’s going to want everything in that concession stand because the other kids are getting something from it,” she said.

Other parents such as Candice Thornton of Hallsville think the rule and the concession stand are good ideas.

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