ALLEN –– Parents in Allen say construction at a popular park is occurring too close to their children. It's nerve-wracking, they say, seeing video of a city crew using a dump truck to drop off mulch, just a few feet from where their children played at a spray park.
The work is being done at Allen's popular Celebration Park, where preparations are underway for Saturday's Allen USA event. As a result of the parents' concerns, city leaders are rethinking their decision to allow work during times when kids are present.
Nicole Rice says she couldn't believe what she was seeing. A dump truck filled with mulch slowly drove by the splash grounds, perilously close to children.
So she grabbed her mother's cell phone and shot this video.
"Are you kidding me?," said Rice. "Are you really driving that truck amongst all of these children running around playing?"
The sight of the truck so close to the kids made parents like Laura Fix feel uneasy.
"We said to each other, why are they here at 10:30 in the morning when the park is full of camps of kids," said Fix.
Parents say the city dump truck pulled up on the walkway and then drove over part of the splash grounds on its way to the playground, just a few feet from dozens of children playing in the water. Kelly Mosbarger got scared when she couldn't find her son.
"So I kind of jumped up and was looking over the truck to make sure he was over there and not running around the truck," said Mosbarger.
Allen Parks and Recreation Director Tim Dentler sent a written statement saying, "Safety is always a top priority."
"Measures were taken to ensure the safety of the spray ground participants. Even so, the act of driving or backing a dump truck through the spray ground has been stopped."
But parents are questioning why the work was done during such a busy time at the spray park, especially when it's always closed on Wednesdays for maintenance.
"It makes you wonder what Allen was thinking as far as the safety of our kids," said Rice.
Dentler says afternoons are typically considered peak time, while mornings are less crowded. The director says his staff thought they could get the work done before peak time. He said, as a result of the parents’ concerns, his department will re-evaluate their closure period.