BRAG wins right to relocate concession stand

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

The Bridgton Planning Board on Tuesday ruled in favor of the Bridgton Recreation Advancement Group in a dispute with the town over a plan to relocate the concession stand at the BRAG Complex.

BRAG officials want to build a concession stand with bathrooms in the center of the athletic complex, amidst the baseball and soccer fields, to make it more convenient for spectators and players to use the facilities.

Town officials, most notably Anne Krieg, Director of Planning, Economic and Community Development, believe such a location would hamper fire and rescue vehicles from reaching the building and make the area around the building congested and unsafe. In addition, Code Enforcement Officer Robbie Baker said a holding tank septic system would need to be installed before the concession stand could open for business.

After questioning BRAG officials, however, Planning Board members were satisfied that emergency vehicles could reach the stand in case of a fire or injury, by crossing the soccer field from the complex’s entrance at BRAG Way and Home Run Road. BRAG Board of Directors member David Bush provided extra assurances by saying that netting could be installed to keep stray baseballs or softballs from injuring people near the concession stand.

The BRAG board has already raised enough money to build the foundation for the 40’x40’ gazebo-style concession stand and bathrooms. Along with the building’s concession area, restrooms and storage on the first floor, the open-style second floor of the octagonal building will be a multi-function area for meetings and press boxes.

The existing 48’x28’ concession stand, located near the playground at the complex’s entrance, would become a storage building. Nearby, there are Porta Potties, and BRAG’s agreement with the Town of Bridgton states that BRAG must build a concession stand with bathrooms before the town will be willing to take over ownership and maintenance of the complex.

Bush said the current location of the concession stand is simply unworkable. People have complained about having to miss game action by walking back over the soccer field to use the Porta Potties or buy refreshments.

“We’ve received complaints. People don’t like having to walk to get concessions or use the bathrooms,” he said.

BRAG Board President Bill Macdonald said people literally run to grab refreshments, and throw their money at concession workers as payment so they can get back to the action. He said some spectators not wanting to make the trip to the Porta Potties have been known to relieve themselves in the nearby woods.

“We’re trying to find the most convenient spot,” Mcdonald said. “Right now (the existing concession stand) is so far away we can’t get volunteers,” many of whom are parents of players, to run it, he added.

By placing the stand between fields one, two, three and five, everyone who goes there is close to the action on those fields, Mcdonald said.

Planning Board member Fred Packard said a central location for the concession stand is “far better” than the current “inconvenient” location, which can separate young children from their parents as they run across the soccer field to grab a snack.

“You gotta have some common sense here,” Packard said. “Right now it’s in an inconvenient spot.”


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