WACO, TX — Change hit a popular trick-or-treating destination in Waco this year.
The Sanger-Heights neighborhood typically sees anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 people on Halloween night and this year, for the first time in several, folks roaming the streets will not have the protection of a barricade.
The road blocks was something Sanger-Heights Neighborhood Association President Daniel Stewart said was supplied by the City of Waco for free, but that changed in 2017.
The City of Waco now requires any person or organization wanting city services to apply for a permit.
The change came with a hefty price tag for the neighborhood in 2016, totaling more than $1,000.
Stewart said because of the price tag, the neighborhood had to stop providing security and road blocks.
"Slowly different houses on the street started to do more, and it's a nice well-lit street so more kids kept coming, and it kind of snowballed to the point that several years ago," Stewart said. "The City would just drop off some barriers and people on the street would set them up and then we would have some police officers that sort of just volunteered their time."
Anyone looking to obtain a permit has to fill out the permit application which asks how many people will be attending and what kind of services will be requested among other things.
The association said they didn't even apply for the permit this year because they knew they couldn't pick up the tab.
"The process is there. You fill out the application and pay a fee. It's a small fee and it goes before this committee for them to evaluate the needs of the party," Waco Spokesman Larry Holze said. "The city council is trying to do everybody fairly, and we have to be careful what we do with city funds as we deploy city services, police fire, road closure, anything we do has to be fair to everybody."
And while the neighborhood opted out of the barricades, the association and the City of Waco said they hope everyone still has a safe and happy Halloween.