Despite Unpopularity, Crown Center Says It Won’t Reverse Its Decision

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Many in the Kansas City metro area continue to express disappoint and even outrage at the announcement that people are no longer allowed in the fountains at Crown Center.

For many families, it's a 41-year tradition and they're making themselves heard in on-line forums.

However, Crown Center says it will not reverse its decision.

"The fountain has in the past tested positive for bacteria," said Chris Ronan with Crown Center. "And then there's the concern about accidents about people slipping and falling."

The Health Department says Crown Center has always passed water inspections, although those inspections don't test for bacteria. Crown Center says it discovered bacteria on its own and had to retreat the water because of it.

"When the decision was made, it was unanimous that no one wanted to do it," said Ronan. "It was simply becoming so, so popular, too popular for its own good really."

Ronan says Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium have brought more people than the fountain can safely handle.

Crown Center says kids have been injured at the fountains but would not say if it had ever been sued because of an injury.

One personal injury attorney, who visited the fountains two weeks ago with his son, doesn't think a lawsuit would go far.

"Let me put it this way," said Matt O'Connor. "If I had a client, a potential client that called and said that their kid was running around there and slipped and bumped their head I probably would not take the case. I don't see a lot of merit in it."

"We've come here every year to run through the fountains and play and have fun and go visit Crown Center and so that's something we won't be able to do in the summertime," said Theresa Jensen, who was visiting Kansas City from Oklahoma.

Crown Center will have a security guard on hand to enforce the new rule for those who ignore the warning signs when the fountains come back on.

"We had our suits and towels ready to go and no water," said Jensen.

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