Sports board plans project


Around 3,000 people came to Brownstown Park earlier this year for three youth tournaments played on the two baseball fields.

While they were there to watch the games, many people also purchased items at the concession stand.

Part of the building had to be rebuilt about 12 years ago after a fire. Nearly $20,000 had been spent to make the restrooms larger, and the fire happened a couple of weeks before the season was supposed to start.

Now, the Brownstown Baseball Association has determined a new building needs to be constructed.

“It’s time,” said Brian Wheeler, president of the association. “It’s to that point where it’s not the best building to use. We get a lot of traffic, so we want to make it look as best as we can.”

The plan is to tear down the existing building and put a new structure, measuring about 35-by-60 feet, in the same location.

Wheeler said one estimate he has received is nearly $65,000, including the building and handicap parking.

Since the building is on town property, he recently attended a Brownstown Town Council meeting to get their blessing for the project. The association is self-sustaining and is covering all of the expenses, so these will be no cost to the town.

Wheeler said besides looking better, the building will be safer and better quality for food preparation.

“We do bring a lot of people to this town via our baseball park,” he said. “We’re to that point where we have to improve it.”

Wheeler said he has talked to Mike Warren with Bane & Warren Construction about disposal of the existing building and shared blueprints with Ben Lewis, the town’s plan commissioner.

“The blueprints we’re using is actually a building that was approved by the town for the concession stand at the men’s softball diamond,” Wheeler said.

The softball diamond also is in the park, but the concession stand there is a block building that the town paid for and was much more expensive.

Wheeler said the new concession stand building will be similar to the one built earlier this year at the girls softball diamonds behind Brownstown Elementary School. It has metal siding.

“Same template, same design, same layout, bathrooms,” Wheeler said.

Once the building is in place, local contractors will be used to install electricity and heating, air conditioning and ventilation.

“We’re hoping to get the structure done and hopefully ready to use by the end of March or beginning of April next year,” Wheeler said.

The association also may apply for a grant to get some other things done, he said.

Clerk-Treasurer David Willey said the town had planned to do some paving in the area but may move it to the spring so it doesn’t interfere with the concession stand project.

Town attorney Rodney Farrow asked if the Brownstown Park Board had been made aware of the association’s plans. Councilwoman Sharon Koch, who serves as a liaison to that board, said she would share the information.

“I can’t imagine them having objections because it’s improvement, but they ought to be aware,” Koch said.

The town council is on board with the project.

“It seems as far as this board is concerned, I think it’s awesome. Thank you for everything you guys do,” Council President Sally Lawson said.

“We’re going to try to continue to improve the property and keep trying to bring people to Brownstown,” Wheeler said.

Four baseball tournaments already are on the schedule for 2018.

“It could be more, depending on the rainout schedule. Our fields are better than most around,” Wheeler said. “We’re probably one of the few events that bring people in to Brownstown. We want to continue doing that. It’s good for our park. It’s good for our town.”