ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – St. Louis City parks are available for everyone to enjoy, but one alderman says adults and teens are making play areas impossible for kids to use.
Fox Park is one of 111 in the City of St. Louis where kids come to play and work on their skills. Alderman Christine Ingrassia just introduced bill #185 to make it illegal for anyone over the age of 13 to use play areas. If you’re there with a child its ok, if not you can face a $100 to $500 fine. Ingrassia wants to stop criminal activity in at the park and thinks the ordinance would be a useful tool for police.
“Adults hang out on the equipment here at Fox Park and won’t move when the kids arrive to use the swing and slides. There are a lot of families here from all walks of life it`s a very diverse neighborhood and I have received complaints from everybody,” said Ingrassia
Parent Matt Wickline visits the park with his son William on a regular basis and says he agrees because he has seen teens and adults take over the play areas.
“Adults can enjoy the park without going into the playground area I think that keeps our kids safe. The park is big enough so they can enjoy the park and the little kids can have the playground area to themselves it`s a great idea.” Said Wickline
Alderman Antonio French says there are questions about enforcement, civil liberties issues, profiling and who would designate off limit areas. He`s also concerned about those who can`t afford the fines.
“I’m not comfortable with the idea that at 15-year- old could be fined for sitting in the wrong place. What we really need is more Park Rangers to enforce ordinances already on the books like loitering and littering if we had that we would have better behavior.” said French
Ingrassia says planning to tweak her current proposal on handling teens, fines and other issues and will resubmit for approval within the next few weeks. If all goes well bill #185 could be passed by the end of the month.